Euro 2020: Jadon Sancho still pending but England continues | Sport | German football and major international sports news | DW
25 minutes from the end and England lacking a bit of cohesion and inspiration but in the lead, Gareth Southgate turned to a young star from Borussia Dortmund.
As 17-year-old Jude Bellingham replaced Jack Grealish to make his second Euro appearance, teammate Jadon Sancho watched from the bench as Marcus Rashford’s place above him in the pecking order was confirmed.
Grealish’s 12th-minute cross created the only goal of the game, scored by Raheem Sterling at the far post after a great job from surprise pick Bukayo Saka. The selection of the Arsenal winger and the appearance of Jordan Henderson at half-time meant that Sancho was the last English midfielder or striker to see a minute of playing time. He ended up getting around 10, almost after the fact.
Southgate had pointed out Sancho’s inexperience as a factor in his non-selection ahead of this game, but Saka and Bellingham have significantly less than the former Manchester City winger.
As long as his team continue to win, Southgate will be able to dismiss criticism from those who admire Sancho’s determination, skill and poise every week in Germany. Tuesday’s 1-0 win was England’s third clean sheet of the tournament and secured a top spot in Group D.
But for all their strength (England have conceded only once in their last 10 games), their performances and Southgate’s attacking caps have drawn criticism at home and abroad. The spotlight on Sancho could intensify further, with Germany a potential opponent in the round of 16 for England. If Joachim Löw’s men finish second in their group after Wednesday’s clash with Hungary, they will travel to Wembley next Tuesday.
Modric makes the difference
Croatian veterans Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic made the difference
One team that has already left the English capital empty-handed is Croatia. But a touching second-half performance led by talismanic Luka Modric sent them to second place after a 3-1 win over crashing Scotland. The Czech Republic will join them in the round of 16 despite their loss.
After the teams shared a goal each in the first half, the Real Madrid conductor hit a sensational effort with the outside of his boot just past the hour mark, before Ivan Perisic buckled things after a corner from Modric.
The 35-year-old has become both the oldest and the youngest player to score for Croatia at the Euro, with his side set to face the Group E finalists in Copenhagen on Monday.