It took some penalty shootout heroics from England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, scoring one spot kick before then saving another, to earn the Three Lions victory in the UEFA Nations League third-place playoff.
In truth, it was an accomplishment – and a match in general – that few cared about, myself included in that crowd.
It’s something I’ve never understood the desire for in international football – the meaningless third-place playoff. Teams are already spent, they’ve already endured the ignominy of being knocked out of the respective tournament, any yet are somehow expected to rally back around to care for a match that means so incredibly little to anyone.
Continue reading “Switzerland 0-0 England (5-6 PENS); Pickford penalty heroics secure the Three Lions the effectively meaningless Nations League third place”
From minute one in Guimaraes, in front of a crowd predominantly sporting the St George’s cross, England were outplayed by their Dutch counterparts. Those donned in orange shirts dominated the ball and bossed the midfield, but it was ultimately costly mistakes that became England’s own undoing in Portugal.
England have become allergic to appearing in finals of international competitions, and once again it looked like it could be against Gareth Southgate’s side.
Continue reading “Netherlands 3-1 England AET; Defensive calamities cost the Three Lions & surely spell the end for Stones”
England looked to have been struck by a sucker punch in Podgorica when Marko Vesovic fired Montenegro ahead with their first shot, but Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions recovered to roar back to an impressive 5-1 win.
It had looked like a routine qualifying game for England in the opening ten minutes, as they knocked the ball around confidently, relatively unchallenged by Montenegro.
Continue reading “Montenegro 1-5 England; Three Lions survive early scare to mount an impressive attacking display”
England ran out confident 5-0 winners in their opening EURO 2020 qualifying match against Czech Republic, with Raheem Sterling stealing the show with a sublime hat-trick.
The Manchester City winger opened the scoring for England with a poacher’s finish, before adding two more clinical finishes to silence any potential critics. For a player previously criticised for lacking goals in a national team shirt, he made no mistake with his chances in this one.
He fully deserved his plaudits as he walked off the Wembley pitch shortly after to be rested for the next match against Montenegro.
Continue reading “England 5-0 Czech Republic; Sterling stars as Three Lions carve open Czech defence”