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England suffer shock defeat in Euro 2020 qualification


England’s midfielder Ross Barkley (R) is congratulated by teammates after scoring his team’s second goal during the Euro 2020 Group A football qualification match between Bulgaria and England at the Vassil Levski Stadium in Sofia on October 14, 2019. NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV / AFP

Euro 2020 qualification is now reaching its latter stages as teams look to gain automatic promotion to the finals next year. The betting tips on had England as the overwhelming favourites to progress through Group A, ahead of the Czech Republic, Kosovo, Montenegro and Bulgaria. This is little surprise as England were coming off the back of an impressive run to the semi-finals of the World Cup in Russia last year.

England were surprisingly beaten 2-1 away at the Czech Republic most recently, which now means they both sit top of Group A with 12 points. England still do have a game in hand, so remain in the driving seat despite the defeat. However, this was a clear example that they still have a lot to improve on, even though they have had an impressive recent run of results.


Harry Kane had put England ahead after just five minutes from the penalty spot inside the Sinobo Stadium. However, the home side drew level just four minutes later following a goal from Jakub Brabec. The game then appeared to be heading for a draw before the home side netted the winner in the 85th minute. Overall, the Czech Republic were the deserved winners as they created the better chances over the 90 minutes.

England had previously beaten the Czech Republic 5-0 in the opening matchday of qualification. This was a hugely impressive performance and why the recent defeat came as a big surprise to many. This victory also included a hat-trick for Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling. England then followed this up with a 5-1 victory away at Montenegro. This continued their faultless start to qualification as Sterling was again on the scoresheet.

England then followed this up with a 4-0 home victory against Bulgaria. This was yet another one-sided encounter as Harry Kane scored three that included two penalties. Sterling also continued his scoring run for the national side, as he netted in the 55th minute. They then welcomed Kosovo to Wembley, who entered on a lengthy unbeaten run. They also scored in the opening minute, which put the pressure on England right away. However, England responded by scoring five, taking in a 5-1 lead to half-time. This included a brace from Jadon Sancho, who is one of the most exciting young talents around at present.

Kosovo responded with two early second half goals, to make it a nervy finish for England. This was another eye-catching attacking performance but there were negatives to take from conceding three goals. This then led into the recent defeat to the Czech Republic, which maintains the stuttering recent performances for England. They will now be looking to finish qualification strong, to ensure they top Group A.


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