England's forward Raheem Sterling (L) scores the opening goal against Czech Republic,. This gola turned out to be the match winner
England's forward Raheem Sterling (L) scores the opening goal against Czech Republic,. This gola turned out to be the match winner
AFP

Wembley: England returned with a clean slate and a place in the last 16, in the Euro 2020 after their solitary goal win over Czech Republic, in the Euro 2020, at the Wembley here on Tuesday. Sterling scored the lone goal in the first half of the game.

Incidentally, England in the process did not concede a goal in any of their first four matches. The last time it was in the year 1966, when they started with a 0–0 draw in the opening game against former champions Uruguay, followed by 2–0 wins over France and Mexico to see them finish top of their group and qualify for the quarter-finals.

At the Hampden Park in Glasgow Croatia beat Sctoland 3-1 to make it behind the group leaders England with six points and a place in th last 16.

Czech Republic will also make it to the last 16 with four points and one of the best third team in the tournament.

Belgium confirmed their place in the UEFA EURO 2020 round of 16 as Group B winners after breaking down stubborn Finland, who finish third in the section.

Mindful of how much a point could be worth to them in a tight group, Finland ceded possession to the Red Devils, defending in force and with diligence. Belgium have overwhelmed other sides at this EURO, but Markku Kanerva's team gave them only fleeting glimpses of goal, their best first-half chance falling to Jeremy Doku, who drew a superb save from Lukas Hradecky towards the end of the opening period.

The goalkeeper produced another spectacular block to deny Hazard just after the hour, by which time Glen Kamara had managed to get a first shot on goal for the Finns. Belgium thought they had made the breakthrough soon afterwards, but a Lukaku effort was ruled offside.

"We were a little unlucky with the first goal. I'm disappointed we couldn't get a point. We now have a little, little chance of going through, but I'm proud of our performance in the tournament. We showed we belong here," said Markku Kanerva, Finland coach.

However, fate had a cruel blow in store for Hradecky, who spilled the ball into his own net after Thomas Vermaelen's shot ricocheted back at him off the goalpost. Hope of a comeback soon faded, Lukaku thumping in his third goal of the tournament after a neat turn inside the penalty area.

Summoning up the match, Jeremy Doku, Belgium winger said, "I'm very happy with my performance. It was a good game, a little difficult to make chances. The coach told me to enjoy it. It was a big opportunity for me (to impress), and that's what I did. Finland defended very deep and we can learn from games like this. But we're a big team, we're not scared (of anyone),"

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