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Raheem Sterling leads England to their first victory
Jun 14, 2021, 3:34:00 AM

Raheem Sterling leads England to their first victory

In England’s first European Championships game in Group D, Raheem Sterling scored the sole goal against Croatia to lead the Three Lions to their first win. Both teams struggled on offence but Kalvin Phillips slipped a pass to Sterling who kicked the ball into the net.

It was a slow game for both teams since they looked rusty in their first match of the event. England captain and star striker Harry Kane struggled in the game which is surprising since most pundits tapped him to be a favourite in the Golden Boot race. 

Former England striker and now prominent pundit Alan Shearer talked about his thoughts on Kane’s run in the game. 

‘Harry Kane looked a little bit slow for me’, Shearer said. ‘That ball that came across I thought he was going to put in the back of the net. England didn't create that many chances for him to get on the end of but other than Harry Kane everyone looked really sharp’.

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A big win for England

Most people thought England had a chance to blow this game because of Gareth Southgate’s lineup decisions. Jack Grealish was a big omission from the first XI since most fans and pundits thought he is England’s second star after Kane. 

Jack and Marcus Rashford were the notable omissions from the front line. They were amazing in recent games for England but it seems like Southgate wanted to go back to his favourite players he knew he can rely on. This was true for the forward roles and even the defenders as he chose Kieran Trippier and Tyrone Mings. 

This was a big win for England since Croatia is known as one of the dark horses of this event. The latest World Cup was an indication that this game played a big role in deciding Europe’s best squads. Croatia beat the Three Lions in 2018 but it looks like England got their revenge with this 1-0 win. 

A sterling performance from the Three Lions

This win matters for England since the lineup is mostly composed of strong stars. Sterling was a big part of the game which proves Southgate right with this decision to start him in the first XI. 

The sole goal scorer of the game said, ‘It feels good to score. I always said if I played at Wembley at a major tournament I had to score and it's great to finally do that… It's great to get off to a win and now we have other games to look forward to. It's been a long season for me but I couldn't wait to get here and get started with England’.

England is favoured over Scotland in their next match which will be held at Wembley Stadium on the 18th of June. Croatia will play on the same day against the Czech Republic at Hampden Park.

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Words: Cholo Martin

Image: PA