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England’s Euro opposition- How did fellow Group D sides fare?

England’s opposition- How did fellow Group D sides do?

Ahead of the European Championships kicking off on 11th June, England fans will be eager to know how their opponents are faring.

Drawn in Group D with Scotland, Croatia and Czech Republic, the Three Lions will be confident of progressing to the knockout rounds, but know that they must not take any of their fellow group D sides lightly.

England themselves saw off a lacklustre Austria side with relative ease, despite the unflattering 1-0 scoreline. Bukayo Saka scored the only goal of the game for the hosts, tapping into an empty net after a loose ball broke his way.

However, the victory was marred by a potential tournament-ending injury to right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, who was forced off late in the game with what seemed like a hamstring strain. While we at 101 wish the Liverpool defender the best, he seems certain to miss at least the first part of the European Championships.

But, away from England, how did the rest of group D do?

Croatia:

England’s kryptonite at the 2018 World Cup, Croatia are not the force that they were 3 years ago but remain dangerous nonetheless.

However, they suffered a blow in their Euro preparations, slipping to a sluggish 1-1 draw against 90th ranked nation Armenia at home. Ivan Perisic, scorer in the 2018 semi-final, opened the scoring for Croatia with an accurate header midway through the first half.

The minnows, who are not themselves going to the European Championships, hit back with 20 minutes to go however. A 25-yard-stirike from Wbeymar Angulo was well-deserving of earning a draw and Armenia defended manfully to ensure that they held on to a famous result.

While the result could be seen as encouraging for England fans, the performance was less so. The Croats amassed 19 shots and held early 70% possession, Andrej Kramaric in particular guilty of spurning some wonderful chances.

However, England can take some solace from the fact that Croatia failed to hold their nerve in front of goal, something that they themselves were guilty of in the last fixture between the sides.

Croatia will play again against Belgium on Sunday as they continue to prepare for their opening group game against England.

Scotland:

Denied 7 players after John Fleck tested positive for Coronavirus, Scotland’s preparations for Euro2020 nevertheless got off to the perfect start against the Netherlands. Just eleven minutes in, centre back Jack Hendry found the corner from 20 yards out to give the visitors a shock lead.

This optimism quickly faded, as Memphis Depay fired home an equaliser just six minutes later.

However, the Scots held on, and midway through the second half took the lead once again, a low Andy Robertson cross being met by Kevin Nisbet, who found the back of the net with his first touch of the game.

Billy Gilmour, a name known well to Chelsea fans, came on to make his Scotland debut ten minutes from time to try and see out a monumental victory for the Scottish, but it proved not to be. From a free-kick twenty yards from goal, Depay doubled his tally, firing the ball past Craig Gordon, and ensuring that the bragging rights were shared.

Scotland can be very proud of their performance, especially given the difficult circumstances, and will take confidence into what could prove to be a fantastic summer for them.

The Czech Republic:

The Czech Republic do not play until Friday evening, when they face tournament dark horses Italy. They will then face Albania four days later to complete their European preparation.

 

Read more:

Andrea Pirlo bullish as Cristiano Ronaldo faces missing out on UEFA Champions League qualification.





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