Euro 2020: England confronted with reality by courageous Scotland at an impasse
England’s ambitions to be crowned Kings of Europe took on a cold dose of reality as they were held to a 0-0 draw by a courageous Scottish side in a ‘Battle of Britain’ for Euro 2020 on Friday.
English side Gareth Southgate’s victory in the much-anticipated Group D clash at a rain-swept Wembley stadium would have sealed a place in the last 16, but it produced a nervous performance against the Scots, which maintained their own hopes alive.
The Scottish Tartan Army had invaded London for the first match against the Auld Enemy in the tournament final since England’s 2-0 win at Wembley at Euro 96.
READ: UEFA Euro 2020 England vs Scotland Highlights
Scotland got lucky at times with John Stones heading early against the woodwork for England but nearly scored with Stephen O’Donnell and Lyndon Dykes closing in before Che Adams missed a golden opportunity .
It was the Scottish fans among the 22,000 spectators who sang the loudest at the end, as the draw means their side could still reach the bottom 16 by beating Croatia in their final group match in Glasgow on Tuesday.
England failed to capitalize on their first 1-0 win over Croatia and are in second place, tied by four points with the Czech Republic, which they face in their final game on the same day.
When the skies opened again shortly before kick-off, it seemed like the perfect scene for the Scottish ‘Bravehearts’ to shake up the odds on the pitch for Auld Enemy and Steve Clarke’s men to come together. shown up to it.
Che Adams, one of four changes from the squad that started in the 2-0 home loss to the Czech Republic, nearly drew the Scots’ first blood in the fourth minute when his shot on goal from O’Donnell’s cut hit Stones.
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England responded with Stones left completely unmarked from a Mason Mount corner to hit a header against the upright with goalkeeper David Marshall a spectator.
The host increased the pressure and Mount wasted a glorious chance after a good job from Raheem Sterling.
England lacked control, however, and Scotland came back with the impressive O’Donnell forcing England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford to make the game’s first significant save with a back volley.
For all of England’s territorial superiority he was clamoring for Jack Grealish’s dribbling skills and failed to land a shot on target in the first half of a game at Wembley for the first time since 2017.
Scotland, on the other hand, reached the growing gap in the belief that something special was brewing.
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Southgate resisted the temptation to play their cards at halftime and England started the second period positively with Mount’s fiercely slapped shot forcing Marshall to make his first save of the night.
Reece James, one of two changes to the England squad that beat Croatia in scorching temperatures on Sunday, then lifted a shot after a patient spell of England possession.
It was too frantic for the host, however, and England suffered another scare when James led a Lyndon Dykes effort down the line and soon after Grealish entered the fray, replacing Phil Foden.
Skipper Harry Kane still lacked sharpness and was replaced by Marcus Rashford with 15 minutes remaining.
England built up late pressure, but Scotland hung on for a deserved share of the booty.