With the international break upon us, teams across Europe will be trying to qualify for Euro 2020. Friday evening saw Czech Republic take on a young but talented English squad.
The Three Lions came in to the match confident that they would come out with all three points. Gareth Southgate’s men are unbeaten in their last five games, having most recently beaten Croatia 2-1 in the EUFA Nations League in November.
England’s group in this tournament consists of Bulgaria, Montenegro, Kosovo, and Czech Republic. England look to be the easy favorites to win the group.
Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi was called up to the squad for the first time, although not starting against Czech Republic. Borussia Dortmund forward Jadon Sancho made his first competitive start for England alongside star striker Harry Kane and Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling in a 4-3-3 formation.
England took the lead early on in the 24 minute as Sterling scored his first of three goals on the night from six yards out after a great pass from Kane.
Czech Republic were lucky to not go into the half down by three goals. Instead, England ended the half winning 2-0 thanks to a Harry Kane penalty.
Sterling scored again in the 62 minute as he did brilliantly to put pressure on the Czech defenders before curling a great shot into the corner on his left foot.
Just six minutes later, Sterling completed his hat trick as his shot from 20 yards out was deflected in for a 4-0 lead.
Hudson-Odoi made his English debut in the 70 minute, making him the youngest England player to make his debut in a competitive game.
Friday saw England featuring two players aged 18 or younger (Hudson-Odoi and Sancho) in an international match for the first time in 138 years, since doing so on February 26, 1881 versus Wales.
The match would end 5-0 as Tomas Kalas scored an own goal in the 83 minute.
Can this young English squad continue to impress, or will they fail to bring it home again? Their next match is Monday, March 25, against Montenegro.