England 1 vs Croatia 0: Raheem Sterling gives Three Lions opening win

Raheem Sterling gave England a good start to the Euro’s as the Three Lions started their tournament run at Wembley.

Phil Foden, England, nearly broke the deadlock after the ball richotted off the goal post in the sixth minute.

Sterling opened up the scoreline after a great throughball from Kalvin Phillips in the 57th minute.

Phil Foden, England, gave the Three Lions their best start after six minutes. After a quick counter attack, Sterling had possession and passed to Foden on the right side of the box. Despite finding a small gap between Croatia’s Joško Gvardiol and Duje Ćaleta-Car, the young Englishman was robbed of a goal by the far post as the ball bounced back into play.

England were awarded a free kick in the 16th minute after a brief scuffle of tackles. Kyle Trippier took the set piece and lofted the ball over the defensive backline to meet the head of Harry Kane. However, the Tottenham striker was found to be offside as the ball was lifted over.

Croatia’s Ćaleta-Car was booked for handball on the edge of the box, on the 42nd minute. Tripper took the free kick, however, it was met by the Croatian wall – much to Trippier’s disappointment.

As the half-time whistle was blown, the Three Lions had made four attempts on goal (one on target) while Croatia only managed two (one on target).

As the second half got underway, Croatia looked to have a more aggressive playstyle. However, it wasn’t long before it bit back.

Croatia’s Mateo Kovačić was the second booking for the visitors. He made a hard tackle on England’s Mason Mount, in the 48th minute, after the Croatian lost the ball.

Trippier forced, England Goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford into action as the Atlético Madrid defender headed the ball back to his ‘keeper. However, there wasn’t enough power on his pass and Croatia’s Ante Robin charged towards the free ball. Luckily, Pickford cleared away the danger.

England finally made a breakthrough on the 57th minute. Phillips collected the ball down the right wing, with little resistance, and managed to find a gap to pass a throughball to Raheem Sterling. The English winger was able to slot the ball into the net to break the deadlock, with a slight touch from Croatian goalkeeper, Dominic Livaković.

Harry Kane nearly made it a two goal deficit in the 61st minute. Mason Mount, on the left wing, crossed the ball to the far post and Kane was able to get his foot to it. However, the ball was shot wide. Despite this, the English striker was briefly injured after he suffered a blow with the right-side goalpost.

Foden became England’s first booking after a light brushing between himself and Gvardiol, on the 64th minute.

In the 66th minute, The Three Lions had a great chance to go two goals up after Mason Mount was dragged to the ground by Marcelo Brozović, just outside the Croatian penalty area. Mount took the promising set piece but he whizzed it just over the left corner.

Substitution (70th minute)

England

Phil Foden (off) / Marcus Rashford (on)

Croatia

Marcelo Brozovic (off) / Nikola Vlašić (on)

Andrej Kramarić (off) / Josip Brekalo (on)

Substitution (79th minute)

Croatia

Ante Rebić (off) / Bruno Petković (on)

Substitution (82nd minute)

England

Jude Bellingham (on) / Harry Kane (off)

Substitution (85th minute)

Croatia

Mario Pašalić (on) / Mateo Kovačić (off)

Substitution (90’+2′)

England

Dominic Calvert-Lewin (on) / Raheem Sterling (off)

Despite Croatia’s best efforts, the visitors only managed eight shots on goal – with two on target. However, in the second half, Zlatko Dalić’s men managed to obtain more possession with the ball than England did over regular time.

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