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Sterling Strikes To Give England Opening Win Over Croatia

Photo Credit: REUTERS

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Raheem Sterling scored his first goal at a major tournament to give England a 1-0 win over Croatia in their Euro 2020 Group D opener on Sunday.

England started brightly in front of around 20,000 fans in the sun-drenched Wembley Stadium, with forward Phil Foden rattling the far post and a long-range volley from midfielder Kalvin Phillips forcing Dominik Livakovic into a low save.

They made the breakthrough shortly after halftime, with Phillips showing excellent skill to evade a challenge and thread a pass through to Sterling who ran in behind the defence and smashed the ball in via a touch off Livakovic.

Croatia will look to bounce back in their next game against Czech Republic on Friday with England taking on neighbours and arch-rivals Scotland.

MATCH FACTS

– In what is their 10th participation in the European Championship finals, England won their opening game of an edition of the tournament for the first time (D5 L4).

– England remain unbeaten in 12 games at Wembley at major tournaments (World Cup & Euros combined), winning eight and drawing four of those matches.

– Croatia have lost eight of their 14 games in all competitions since the start of 2020 (W4 D2); before this, they had lost just eight of their previous 33 matches (W17 D8).

– England have won seven consecutive matches across all competitions for the first time since March 2015 under Roy Hodgson.

– Croatia lost their first match of a European Championship tournament for the first time, in their sixth such participation (W4 D1).

– Raheem Sterling has been directly involved in 19 goals in his last 17 appearances for England (13 goals, six assists). His opener was his first goal at a major international tournament (World Cup & Euros) in his 13th such appearance.

– England have won all 11 of their internationals in which Raheem Sterling has scored, the best 100% winning rate when scoring of any player in the national side’s history, overtaking Martin Chivers (10/10).

– Kalvin Phillips was the first England player to assist a goal on his first European Championship appearance since David Beckham assisted two goals against Portugal in 2000. As well as this, at 94% (31/33) his passing accuracy was the best of any England player to complete 90 minutes against Croatia.

– Aged 17 years and 349 days, Jude Bellingham came on to become the youngest ever player to appear in the European Championship finals for any nation, and youngest English player to play in any major tournament (World Cup & Euros).

– Aged 19 years and 141 days, Joško Gvardiol became the first ever teenager to feature in a major tournament match (World Cup/EUROs) for Croatia, in what was their 42nd fixture at such a competition.

Reuters

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