Bellingham with brains: England starts EURO with a 1-0 win

Bellingham with brains: England starts EURO with a 1-0 win
Bellingham with brains: England starts EURO with a 1-0 win

Jude Bellingham celebrated his “golden goal”.

The English national team started the European Football Championship in Germany with a narrow victory. The team of team manager Gareth Southgate defeated Serbia 1-0 (1-0) on Sunday evening in the Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen and took the lead in Group C after the first round. The parallel match between Slovenia and Denmark had previously ended in a 1-1 draw.

Jude Bellingham secured three points for the “Three Lions” with his goal (13th). Gelsenkirchen. The English European Championship co-favorites got off to a good start, driven by the lightning-fast Bukayo Saka, and immediately took control of a Serbian defense that mostly consisted of nine players defending deep. This defensive recipe didn’t help for a quarter of an hour, and the first consistent attack by Southgate’s team resulted in the lead. Saka was served on the right, and his cross was deflected by Salzburg defender Strahinja Pavlovic and Real Madrid star Bellingham powerfully headed home to make it 1-0 (13th).

A little later, Aleksandar Mitrovic had his first chance at Jordan Pickford’s goal, but the captain of the European Championship debutants shot just wide of the goal from 15 meters (20′). On the other side, Kyle Walker missed the chance to make it 2-0 on the counterattack, his mixture of pass and shot in the best position in front of keeper Predrag Rajkovic went past friend and foe (25′).

Mitrovic claimed a penalty in vain

The Serbian team coached by Dragan Stojkovic now presented themselves more courageously, but suffered another setback. Juventus player Filip Kostic was injured and had to leave the field (43rd minute); he was replaced by Filip Mladenovic.

Serbia came out of the break with momentum and now set the tone, but the penalty area of ​​the 2021 European runners-up was usually the only place where the game ended. Shots from the underdog remained in short supply. After just over an hour, things got tricky in front of Pickford when Mladenovic looked for Mitrovic. The striker fell and called for a penalty. Referee Daniele Orsato saw it differently and was confirmed by the VAR (59′).

Kane is now the sole record player

It was Mitrovic’s last action, and he was replaced by Dusan Tadic. Stojkovic also brought on Milan striker Luka Jovic, and the Serbs now went all out on the offensive. England remained organized and almost increased their lead on the counterattack. Jarrod Bowen, who had come on for Saka, crossed to Harry Kane, who had hardly been involved in the game up to that point. Rajkovic deflected the captain’s header onto the crossbar (77′). Kane played his 23rd game at a European Championship and World Cup, making him the sole record player for his nation.

In the final phase, Dusan Vlahovic tested goalkeeper Pickford from distance (82nd minute), but he passed. A bounce from Veljko Birmancevic was cleared with Kane’s head (83rd minute). The Serbs had thus used up all their ammunition. The European Championship tournament continues for them on Thursday with a duel against Slovenia (3 p.m.). Immediately after that, England will face Denmark (6 p.m.).

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