England Edged It.
England played host to Croatia and won their first game of the tournament for the first time. England, with their wealth of talent, sometimes struggles and over the years, it has always been a huge task for them to win their first game of the tournament but they did so and held on to their solitary goals courtesy of Raheem Sterling.
Few familiar faces were seen from the Croatia side, a player who have plied their trade in England before now; Luka Modric and Kovacic who is still with Chelsea. It was never going to be an easy game for England and it proved not to be as Croatia produced better than their first-half performance but still, England deserved the win.
Phil Foden was lively throughout the match till he was withdrawn. You could see the hope in the hearts of the English fans anytime Foden is on the ball. There was a real expectation from him and you know you can expect any moment of magic from him. He was denied a huge moment of magic in the 6th minute when he produced a brilliant and lovely curling effort that the upright kept out. It would have been a deserved lead and a deserved effort from him to score too.
England orchestrated a lovely long throw-in from the left-hand side and Sterling gathered it. He drove in and found Foden who produced a lovely effort that took the post to keep out. Shortly after, England had a penalty shout which the referee was not going to entertain. England bombarded Croatia in the opening exchanges and Matt Phillips produced another lovely shot just outside the box but the goalkeeper saved it.
England put themselves in deadly situations that should be able to hurt Croatia early on but they were unable to get the ball over the line. It was an encouraging halftime performance from England as they restricted Croatia to half chances.
Croatia came out better in the second half until Raheem Sterling broke their hearts. Matt Phillips produced a lovely pass to pick out Raheem Sterling. Sterling was focused on the ball as he wanted to get his angle right. He struck the ball just in time before the defender and the goalkeeper could produce any real dent and prevent the ball from crossing over the line. He squeezed the ball in by getting the touch needed to give England the lead in the 57th minute.
It was an encouraging performance from England and Croatia would have to produce a better performance in their remaining 2 games to be able to get out of the group.
Harry Kane should have given England the second goal in the 61st minute too but he blazed over after Mason Mount found him at the edge of the box. A lot was said about the omission of Jack Grealish but with this performance, you can't fault that decision because Matt Phillips played so well and it shows the abundance of wealth England have at their disposal for this Euro 2020 tournament.
The game ended 1-0 and I believe there would be more twists to come.
Thank you for your time.
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