With both teams close to last 16 berth, England returned to the Wembley Stadium on Tuesday to confirm their place in the knock out stage when they faced off Czech Republic, both with an opportunity to top Group D.
England ensured they finished top of Group D to cling to the last 16 spot by beating the Czechs 1 – 0, but Scotland were left with no answers as they came up short 3 – 1 against Croatia in their bid to reach the knockout stages.
With the Czechs through to the knock out phase as one of the best third-placed teams, England will face the runners-up from Group E – likely to be France, Germany or Portugal – while the Czechs must wait to find out which group winner they play.
We begin today’s episode reliving the glorious and inglorious moments from Day 12.
Croatia 3 – 1 Scotland
Czech Republic 0 – 1 England
Sterling strikes as England beat Czechs to top of group
Raheem Sterling’s early header was enough to see the Three Lions confirm their place in the last 16 and top the Group D summit.
England and Czech Republic were already into knock out stage but they were looking for the chance to finish top of the pool.
Gareth Southgate’s already-qualified side put in a controlled display on Tuesday.
A 1-0 victory in front of Wembley crowd who were in much better mood here than on last Friday is a major boost but a bigger Euro 2020 tests now await as they face the runners-up from Group E – likely to be France, Germany or Portugal.
Czech Republic despite the loss are through to the next stage as one of the best third-placed teams.
Following the victory over Czech Republic, England topped Group D with 7 points and automatically go through to the playoffs.
For the first time, England have gone through the EURO group stage without conceding a single goal.
Croatia wake Scotland from Euro 2020 dream
Goals by Nikola Vlašić, Luka Modrić and Ivan Perišić earned Croatia a victory in Glasgow.
Scotland were hoping to mark their return to the European Championship in 23 years by reaching the knockout stages for the first time on home soil but that was cut short as Real Madrid maestro, Luka Modric steered his country through to the knockout stages.
At 35, this may well be the Croatia captain’s last European Championship, and he does not want to go home just yet.
Croatia opened an early account with Nikola Vlašić’s low shot from close range in the 17th minute.
Scotland seemed to have regained their rythm as they levelled the scores heading into the second half.
Modric’s majestic goal in the 62nd minute helped Croatia double their advantage over the Scotts on Tuesday.
Modric later turned a provider with a corner kick which Ivan Perišić’s flicked header in the 77th and give the team a spot in the round of 16 at Euro 2020.
Following the victory over Scotland, Croatia advance to the last 16 berth at the expense of the Tartan Army.
Group Standings after game 3
Group E: Slovakia vs Spain – La Cartuja, Seville, 4PM
The Euro 2020 Group E is still wide open and on Wednesday, second-placed Slovakia travel to Seville to face off a Spain side who sit one place below them with one point.
Stefan Tarkovic’s men suffered a 1-0 defeat to Sweden in their most recent encounter, while Spain had to make do with a 1-1 draw against Poland.
Slovakia need a point to boost hopes of last 16 spot and will top the group if they win and Sweden do not.
Spain must not settle for anything less than a win against Slovakia, a draw will see them through if only Poland do not beat Sweden.
Group E: Sweden vs Poland – Krestovsky Stadium, St Petersburg, 4PM
Already-qualified Sweden head into their third game against Poland seeking to secure the point that would maintain their lead at the top of an intriguing Group E at Euro 2020 and seal their automatic qualification to the knockout phase on Wednesday in St Petersburg.
Though the Swedes will progress if they simply avoid defeat, their opponents must win to snatch a place in the top two, having picked up a solitary point from their first two games.
Sweden are through and will top the group if they beat Poland.
Group F: Germany vs Hungary – Allianz Arena, Munich, 7PM
Dubbed the group of death, at least one will have to fall and Germany is yet to assure progress to the last 16 of Euro 2020, welcome Group F rivals Hungary to Munich on Wednesday, with a positive result still required.
Germany lost their opening game against France but stunned holders Portugal to keep campaign alive, Hungary lost in their opener against Portugal but bounced back to a stalemate against favorites France.
Both teams now come into this high-stakes fixture in buoyant mood, as the Hungarians held on for a draw against France last weekend, while Joachim Low’s men beat holders Portugal 4-2.
Germany will go through if they win and Hungary will also go through if they win. Both nations must play out an intense game as the results from the other group matches matters a lot here.
Group F: Portugal vs France – Puskas Arena, Budapest, 7PM
Defending Champions Portugal renew hostilities with 2016 runners-up France for their final game of Euro 2020 Group F on Wednesday.
Both teams renew their rivalry five years after doing battle on the biggest continental stage.
Les Bleus remain at the top of the rankings despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Hungary on matchday two, while Portugal are currently third on the Group F log after a thrilling 4-2 defeat to Germany.
It is a must win for Portugal as they look forward to retaining the Euro 2020 trophy.
France have already booked their last 16 ticket and will finish top of Group F with a win or draw and Germany do not beat Hungary.
Acknowledgement: Betway Ghana ( Headline Sponsor)
Mark F. | SilverFM