Raheem Sterling scored a hat-trick for England as the Three Lions secured a 5-0 win in Euro 2020 qualifying at Wembley Stadium on Friday evening.
The Manchester City man gave Gareth Southgate’s men the lead mid-way through the first period as he stabbed home Jadon Sancho’s excellent cross. Harry Kane then extended the advantage in the final seconds of the first period with a powerful spot-kick. Sterling was then on the scoresheet twice more as he showed great instincts to curl home before netting again via a deflected strike only six minutes later.
A late own goal from Tomáš Kalas rounded off a perfect evening for the Three Lions.
Simple finish for Sterling
England dominated the ball in the opening stages but it could have been the visitors who took the lead. Vladimír Darida picked up some space on the edge of the box but could only drive his effort high over the bar.
It took a wonderful exchange to see the Three Lions edge ahead through Sterling. Kane swivelled in the middle of park and released Sancho beyond the Czech defence with a wonderful through-ball. The Borussia Dortmund then picked out the unmarked Sterling at the back post, who scored simply from only a matter of yards out.
Comfort at the break for England
The hosts kept up their dominance throughout the whole of the first-half and stretched their advantage only seconds before the interval. Sterling was once again at the centre of things as he sprinted into the box only to be brought down by Pavel Kadeřábek. Kane was predictably the man to place the ball on the spot and his powerful strike whistled into the net, despite the Czech goalkeeper managing to get a finger to it.
Following the break, it was the visitors who looked the most likely to get on the scoresheet next. Tomáš Souček at first nodded a freekick just wide of Jordan Pickford’s goal before the goalkeeper had to react well to get down and hold David Pavelka’s shot from the middle of the box.
Three Lions turn on the style
Southgate’s troops continued to press for even more goals as the night pressed on in the capital. Kane once again was able to pick out Sancho but the winger had his shot deflected away. It fell to Dele Alli who once again saw his shot blocked by a Czech body and up and over the crossbar.
The lead was eventually extended, with Sterling once again getting on the scoresheet. Kyle Walker’s pass was cut out by Filip Novak but he only served to slam the ball Kalas. It found its way to Sterling who showed fantastic ability to shift the ball and curl it past Jiří Pavlenka.
Sterling strikes again for hat-trick
The Manchester City man was to secure his treble, albeit with a deflected effort. Ross Barkley drove through the midfield and passed towards the winger on the left-flank. He composed himself and aimed for goal, with the strike nestling in the back of the net with help of a slight deflection.
The scoring was rounded off in the closing stages by the Czech Republic but not quite in the correct net. Substitute, Callum Hudson-Odoi, who was making his England debut, had his powerful, low drive halted by Pavlenka. The ball came out to Kalas and the defender did not have enough time to adjust his feet before passing it into his own net.
Luck certainly went England’s way at Wembley and was demonstrated in a couple of their goals. However, their win was extremely deserved as they got their qualifying campaign off to an emphatic start. Southgate’s troops were brilliant in attack and strong defensively also. They will now look forward to Monday evening’s face-off with Montenegro.
England: Pickford (6); Chilwell (7), Keane (7), Maguire (7), Walker (6); Henderson (7), Dier (6) (Barkley (7), 17′); Sancho (8), Alli (6) (Rice (6), 63′), Sterling (9) (Hudson-Odoi (7), 70′); Kane (7).
Czech Republic: Pavlenka (5); Novak (5), Kalas (4), Celustka (5); Kaderabek (5); Soucek (6), Pavelka (6); Jankto (5) (Vydra (5), 46′), Darida (5) (Masopust (5), 67′), Gebre Selassie (6); Schick (5) (Skoda (N/A), 82′).
Goals: Sterling (24′, 62′, 68′), Kane PEN (45+2′), Kalas OG (84′)
Referee: Artur Dias Soares
Yellow Cards: Kaderabek (45+1′), Schick (53′)
Red Cards: N/A
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