By Phil McNulty
Chief soccer author in Prague
England should wait to verify their online page in Euro 2020 after the Czech Republic deservedly ended their 43-recreation unbeaten scuttle in qualifiers stretching abet 10 years.
Gareth Southgate’s facet would have secured their online page in next summer’s match with victory in Prague but they’ll should don’t have any complaints after a wretched suppose against a Czech facet who had been a peculiar proposition from that swept apart 5-0 at Wembley in March.
England can nonetheless qualify on Monday if they beat Bulgaria and Kosovo execute no longer beat Montenegro.
England had been handed the splendid launch when captain Harry Kane attach them forward from the penalty online page in the fifth minute after Lukas Masopust fouled Raheem Sterling but they had been effectively beneath their easiest and slumped to a bitterly disappointing defeat.
The Czechs had been instant stage when Jakub Brabec scored following a corner. England may perhaps per chance no longer muster extra inspiration and substitute Zdenek Ondrasek pounced to rating the winner with four minutes left.
England had been desperately unhappy all the diagram by strategy of and had been grateful to goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who produced gorgeous saves from Vladimir Coufal, Masopust and Alex Kral, whereas Czech counterpart Tomas Vaclik did effectively to disclaim Sterling and Kane.
They’ll attach things correct against Bulgaria in Sofia on Monday but this used to be a necessary fact overview for a facet hoping to execute gigantic things next summer, losing a qualifier for the first time since they went down 1-0 to Ukraine on 10 October 2009.
This should substandard as actually one of many worst performances of Southgate’s reign and the supervisor himself has to web his bag piece of the accountability.
No-one can bitch about his resolution to give Chelsea’s in-originate Mason Mount his debut earlier than team-mate Ross Barkley however the exiguous one never flourished in an developed midfield online page in the first half.
Mount used to be barely ready to persuade the sport and with Jordan Henderson and Declan Rice uncovered and pedestrian, England came across themselves assuredly overrun by the sprightly Czechs.
England’s potent attacking trio of Kane, Sterling and Jadon Sancho had been starved of provider, leaving them below-performing in every home of the pitch.
The Czech Republic, backed by a noisy crowd in Prague, gathered momentum and confidence and it used to be no shock when Ondrasek in the waste broke Pickford’s resistance leisurely on.
This used to be merely no longer correct adequate from England and the troubles that surfaced about their correct quality when they won 5-3 in chaotic trend against Kosovo in Southampton will most productive lengthen after this.
Any hope the defensive uncertainty that characterised England’s victory against Kosovo had been successfully addressed used to be banished interior the first 10 minutes in Prague.
Pickford saved brilliantly from Coufal because the Czech Republic answered to England’s early salvo but there used to be the trademark confusion at the resulting corner which ended with Brabec stabbing home from shut vary.
England lived dangerously all the diagram by strategy of and it used to be no longer a shock when they in the waste conceded leisurely on.
Everton’s Michael Keane struggles desperately at this stage whereas paunchy-backs Danny Rose and Kieran Trippier rarely covered themselves in glory either.
Harry Maguire appears to be just like the one staple in defence but he would no longer exude confidence either.
In other words, quality sides will indulge in going by strategy of this England defence and Southgate is running out of time to reveal the repair.
More to reveal.
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