England have lost their first qualifying match in 10 years
The men’s English national football team have lost a qualifying match for the first time since 2009 when they lost to Ukraine. This was a worrying performance for Gareth Southgate as his team looked lacklustre and did not have the same flow that they usually have.
The match started well for England as they won a penalty in the fourth minute when Sterling was brought down as he tried to cut inside in the box. Captain Kane stepped up to slot the penalty away and it looked like it would be an easy night for England. However, their lead did not last long, as four minutes later the Czech Republic got a corner which was not dealt with properly by the English defence and Brabec got onto the second ball to score. From then on, the Czechs had the better first half but neither team really threatened. England had a good 10-minute spell early in the second half where they could have gotten a goal, but then the Czechs starting dominating play again. It looked like the math was going to end in a draw until the 85th minute when Pickford cleared the ball poorly and the Czechs took advantage to score the winner through Ondrasek on his debut.
This leaves England and the Czech Republic level on points, but the Czechs have played one more match than England. With only three matches remaining and a four-point gap to third-placed Kosovo, England should not really be worried about not qualifying. However, this performance will worry them slightly because if they want to finish top of the group and even be contenders to win Euro 2020. This could have just been a bad day at the office, and Southgate did give a couple of the younger players a chance to show their worth which they were not able to do. They will have to improve on this performance in their next match which is away to Bulgaria on Monday and if they lose that one then it will be worrying times for Southgate and his men.