England will head into the knockout stage of the Euro 2020 as Group D winners following their 1-0 win over the Czech Republic on Tuesday night.
England almost took the lead as early as the second minute when Raheem Sterling, after a pass from Luke Shaw, was to see his effort clank off the outside of the right-hand post and away.
While the Czech pinged the ball around comfortably after that scare, Sterling wasn't to be denied in the 12th minute after some good play from Bukayo Saka. The Arsenal man was to pace towards the opposition box before giving a cross that was met by Jack Grealish. The Villa captain with a sumptuous move was to loop the ball over the Czech defense for the showering Sterling who nodded home his second goal of the tournament.
England almost doubled their lead in the 26th minute when Harry Maguire Maguire channeled his inner Beckenbauer to find Kane down the inside-left with a gorgeous through ball. Kane dropped a shoulder to make some space and time and curled towards the bottom right but keeper Vaclik stuck out a strong arm to block the effort. It was a waste for Kane considering Sterling was in a better position to score.
The Czech was not pushovers too and had some moments in the first half; Holes effort that had Pickford called to thwart the danger being the pick of the bunch. Despite the scares, England was to hold on to their lead heading into the halftime break.
Despite changes in the second half, the Czech were to fall short after failing to find a goal; a result that puts their place in the knockout stage in jeopardy after finishing third by the virtue of goal difference.
While the Czech struggled, Croatia made it to the knockout stage with a 3-1 win over Scotland.
Second-half strikes from Modrić and Perišić canceled out Callum McGregor’s equalizer after Nikola Vlasic had given the visitors a 17th-minute lead.
The win means Croatia heads into the knockout stage with four points, the same as the Czech Republic, though on a superior goal difference.