Scotland watched on as England and Croatia opened up Group D at Euro 2020, the home side winning 1-0 at Wembley Stadium.
Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling scored the winner on 57 minutes following a great pass from Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips. Phil Foden hit the post in the only other big chance in a tight contest. It means Scotland can go second or joint-top with a win over Czech Republic on Monday.
England started with plenty of pressing football and Foden almost made their early pressure count after just six minutes. The Manchester City starlet found a way onto his stronger foot and curled a shot off the post, England continuing to press, much of it spearheaded by Leeds United midfielder Phillips.
Not many expected the Leeds United star to start for Gareth Southgate’s side, who made huge calls like playing right-back Kieran Trippier ahead of natural left-backs Ben Chilwell and Luke Shaw in that position. Marcus Rashford, Jack Grealish and Jude Bellingham were also some of the names left on the bench.
A stuffy game in general found a moment of quality to open the scoring. Phillips again was the architect for England, driving forward and beating three or four Croatia players before the Leeds United man played in Sterling, the Manchester City attacker doing well under pressure to find the net.
England captain Harry Kane missed a chance four minutes after his side’s opener, a ball across the box well-cleared by Duje Caleta-Car as Sterling sent an effort sailing into row Z soon after. Ante Rebic had a half-chance up the other end as Croatia searched a way to get on level terms with the team they defeated in the 2018 World Cup semi-finals.
England await Scotland at Wembley on Friday night in the second round of group stage matches while Croatia face Czech Republic earlier in the day at Hampden.
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