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Harry Maguire returns to top England at the top of Euro 2020 Group D with victory over Czech Republic thanks to Raheem Sterling UK News

After kicking off Group D by beating Croatia in the World Cup semi-finals and then booing after the goalless draw against their Scottish rivals, Gareth Southgate’s already-qualified side put on a controlled display on Tuesday.

Sterling led home fan favorite Jack Grealish’s cross to seal a narrow victory over the Czechs at Wembley, where England return next Tuesday for a draw against France, Germany, Portugal or Hungary.

Taking on the finalists in the so-called death squad seems a tough one, but there’s a lot to be said for the comforts of home – and taking on the underdogs at Euro doesn’t always go well, as Iceland does. five years ago.

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England’s Harry Maguire directs the ball during the Euro 2020 Soccer Championship Group D match between the Czech Republic and England at Wembley. (AP Photo / Frank Augstein, Pool)

There is still a long way to go for the Southgate men after Tuesday’s relentless victory, but England have responded well to a disturbed build-up which has forced Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell to isolate themselves.

The fallout from their interaction with Scotland’s Billy Gilmour, who tested positive for Covid-19, will continue, but the Mount Grealish replacement has impressed – as has tournament debutant Bukayo Saka.

The intrepid pair were involved in the game-winning goal under the arch, where Sterling rebounded after hitting a post in the early stages to come home on Grealish’s cross in the 12th minute.

There were some nervous moments as the Czechs settled in and Harry Kane’s wait for his first Euro goal continues, but England professionally enjoyed a forgettable second half to wrap up qualifying without conceding.

And with Harry Maguire back in the lineup and certain to keep his place, England seem a little more assured at the back before the round of 16.

The goalie has insisted England face the knockout stage lead.

The Three Lions will face the Group F finalists, likely France, Germany or Portugal, but Sterling is not afraid.

“At some point you’re going to have to face the best teams, it’s all about being in the tournament which is to challenge yourself,” he said.

“Our goal from the start was to win the group. It’s a football tournament and things are going to be tough at times, but we have to keep doing what we do as a team that is strong and takes our chances when we can.

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This notice was published: 2021-06-22 21:17:10

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