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Sterling with first England hat-trick to crush Czechs

Pin Sterling with his first England hat-trick. AFP
Sterling with his first England hat-trick. AFP

Sterling with first England hat-trick to crush Czechs

A hat-trick from Raheem Sterling as well as a Harry Kane converted penalty confirmed an emphatic victory for England in their first match of the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign!

England will have gone into this match confident of collecting three points against Czech Republic in Group A of the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.

Wembley was packed out ahead of the clash and the home side did not fail to deliver the goods to a roaring crowd. Jadon Sancho made his debut for his country as he featured on Southgate's starting line-up, alongside Kane and Sterling up front. While Callum Hudson-Odoi claimed a spot on the bench ahead of kick-off.

England didn't have the best of starts as Eric Dier went down injured just 10 minutes into the clash after a challenge with Tomas Soucek. He looked as though he could carry on but soon afterwards had to be substituted and was replaced by Ross Barkley.

That didn't seem to phase Southgate's side who continued to dominate possession with Jadon Sancho on the right wing, who proved his worth by setting up Raheem Sterling who slid in to tap home England's opening goal of the evening. A precursor for what was to follow.

From this point forward, the Czechs failed to grasp a hold on the game and it was England's to run away with. It looked as though Sterling's opener would be the only goal of the first-half, until he won his side a penalty in the dying seconds of added time.

Tottenham's front man, Harry Kane, stepped up for the penalty and doubled England's lead with a belter of a strike, giving the Czech keeper absolutely no chance of stopping it. England went into the break firmly in the driving seat and raring to go for the second-half.

Despite taking all the momentum into the break, it was a slow start for both sides at the start of the second period and it was the visitors who registered the first chances after the break.

Tomas Soucek came inches away from threatening Pickford's goal, twice. His first effort had the Everton keeper at full stretch, while his second was blasted straight down the keeper's throat who got safe hands behind it to maintain his clean sheet.

England weren't phased however and started to rebuild a dominant performance, again with Jadon Sancho, down at the other end. His effort was inches from netting England's third, but for a crucial, last-ditch block from Novak.

No matter, as Raheem Sterling bagged his second, England's third, of the evening just two minutes later. This time Novak was unable to clear the danger and Sterling didn't need to be asked twice to take advantage of the defensive error.

Another hot topic of conversation in the lead up to this clash, was Declan Rice's call-up to the squad, who subsequently came of for Dele Alli to make his international, English, debut.

Raheem Sterling continued to hog the spotlight however, as he achieved his first England hat-trick after his shot was massively deflected past the keeper. A goal's a goal though.

The Czechs managed to register one more close threat on Pickford's goal but it would have been a consolation for what was about to happen. It looked as though Callum Hudson-Odoi was about to complete a perfect England debut with a goal - his effort was blocked but the ball still found its way to goal after Kalas directed the rebound into the back of his own net.

A bitter end for the Czech Republic as they suffer a crushing defeat to an England team who will ooze confidence going into the rest of their Group A matches.

England travel to Montenegro for their next Group A clash, while Czech Republic face Bulgaria at home.

 

Olivia Gidman

Olivia Gidman

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