Scotland hold England from securing Euro 2020 last-16 berth


England missed a
chance to book their place in the last 16 at Euro 2020 after a 0-0 draw against
Scotland on Friday.

Gareth Southgate’s side would have been guaranteed to
advance from Group D with a win over their old rivals at Wembley.

But lethargic England managed just one shot on target and
Scotland’s combative display could easily have earned all three points.

Despite a flop that saw them booed off at full-time, England
have four points and will be certain of qualifying if they avoid defeat by the
Czech Republic in their last group game on Tuesday.

Scotland, in their first major tournament since the 1998
World Cup, looked far more composed than in their opening 2-0 loss to the Czech

They remain in with a chance of going through if they win
their final match against Croatia.

Ponderous England’s lack of cutting edge was a major issue
for Southgate, who responded to Harry Kane’s second successive lacklustre
effort by hauling off his captain after 75 minutes.

There had been questions raised about Kane after he failed
to make an impact in England’s 1-0 win against Croatia on Sunday.

Kane admitted he was not undroppable this week and Southgate
has a difficult decision to make over the Tottenham striker, who finished as
the Premier League’s top scorer this term but has suddenly lost his touch.

With an average age of 25 years and 31 days, England’s
starting line-up was their youngest ever in a major tournament match and as one
of the few senior players, Kane hardly led by example.

Meeting in a major tournament for the first time since
England’s win at Euro 96, this was a redemptive performance for Scotland, whose
fans serenaded their team at full-time.

It was the 115th clash between England and Scotland, an
ancient rivalry that dates back to 1872 on the pitch and centuries earlier off

The Tartan Army were officially limited to 2,500 supporters
inside Wembley, but the coronavirus-restricted 22,500 capacity included
hundreds more Scots who secured tickets in other areas of the stadium.

It made for a vibrant atmosphere, with the Scottish national
anthem loudly jeered by England fans and “God Save the Queen” given
the same treatment from the visitors.

Influential Gilmour

John Stones should have raised the roof early on when the
unmarked England defender met Mason Mount’s corner with a close-range header
that crashed against the post.

But England were unable to make the most of their early
flurry and Scotland’s confidence began to soar as the hosts grew more listless.

Kieran Tierney, back after missing the opening game with a
calf strain, showed Scotland’s ambition when the defender advanced for a
long-range volley that looped wide.

Chelsea youngster Billy Gilmour, making his first Scotland
start, was dictating the tempo with a vibrant display in midfield.

The Scots carved open England’s defence with surgical
precision moments later as Tierney surged onto Andrew Robertson’s pass.

Tierney’s cross picked out Stephen O’Donnell beyond the far
post and his stinging volley forced a fine save from Jordan Pickford, with Che
Adams heading wide of the empty net from the rebound.

For the second successive game, England had produced a
plodding first-half performance.

Southgate’s men took just three minutes of the second half
to finally test David Marshall as the Scotland keeper sprawled to his right to
save Mount’s powerful strike.

Kane teed up Reece James, selected instead of Kyle Walker at
right-back, but he lashed narrowly over from the edge of the area.

Scotland, competing ferociously and playing with
intelligence, remained a major threat and Lyndon Dykes’ hooked shot had to be
headed off the line by James.

In a bid to inject more creativity into England’s display,
Southgate sent on Jack Grealish for the subdued Phil Foden and replaced Kane
with Marcus Rashford.

Yet when England’s chance arrived, it felt to Luke Shaw and
the defender screwed wide from a tight angle.

Author: desi123 is an online news portal that aims to provide the latest trendy news for Asians living in Asia and around the World.

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