Euro Qualifying • Group A
  • 2nd Half
  • Bulgaria
  • England
  • Kane
  • WandersonMalinov
  • RashfordWilson
  • SterlingSancho
  • BarkleyMount
  • Sterling
  • IsaIvanov
  • 1/2 Time
  • Bulgaria
  • England
  • SarmovKraev
  • 1st Half
  • Bulgaria
  • England
  • Sterling
  • Barkley
  • Barkley
  • Rashford
  • Henderson

Bulgaria - England

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  • End of 2nd Half

Moments after Wilson scrapes the post, it's full-time...

England cruise to a 6-0 win in Sofia. Gareth Southgate's side have stilled not booked their Euro 2020 spot, with Kosovo winning against Montenegro, but it's a very professional job from England that keeps them top of Group A.

That was the football....

In the first half we saw the first two stages of UEFA's anti-racism protocols implemented, with England's players racially abused. It's a problem that just isn't going away, but England's players - including Tyrone Mings on his debut - played on despite the abuse.

Scroll down to see how the depressing events unfolded towards the end of the first half...


Quality ball over from Wilson finds Sancho, but he is denied by Iliev who makes another good save.


The implementation of UEFA's three-step protocol has well and truly been in the spotlight tonight - England players stayed on, despite the repeated abuse, and we shall see what the consequences are in the near future.

TWO minutes added on.


It may not have seemed likely in the first half, but it appears we'll be getting to the end of this match at least.


That's a 28th England goal for Kane too - he moves into the top 10 all-time list.


There's a wry smile on the England captain's face. He hit the post moments ago and has been the main assister tonight, but after a cheeky nutmeg he slots in his eighth goal of the qualifying campaign.

  • Harry Kane
    GoalHarry KaneEnglandGOAL FOR KANE! He makes no mistake this time...


He makes no mistake this time...


OFF THE POST! The night's provider almost gets a goal himself, but after three assists, Kane can only hit the post when firing from the edge of the area.


Ten minutes to go, so let's use that to praise England's display in such adversity tonight. A routine win, 5-0 as it stands, and a brilliant way to respond to the Czech Republic defeat three days ago.

The fallout from this match will be dominated by the racist chants, but I'm sure Southgate will reserve some praise for his side's display too. Nothing but professional throughout.


From Ian Wright at half-time in the ITV studio...

  • Kristiyan Malinov
    OffWandersonBulgariaAnd a Bulgarian sub.
  • Kristiyan Malinov
    OnKristiyan MalinovBulgaria

And a Bulgarian sub.

  • Callum Wilson
    OffMarcus RashfordEnglandAnd here comes Wilson for Rashford.
  • Callum Wilson
    OnCallum WilsonEngland

And here comes Wilson for Rashford.


Around the grounds.... Kosovo are 2-0 up against Montenegro and that means England will not book their Euro 2020 spot as it stands.

Ukraine lead Portugal 2-1, France 1-0 up against Turkey.

  • Jadon Sancho
    OffRaheem SterlingEnglandAnd two goals for Sterling a job done too! On comes Sancho...
  • Jadon Sancho
    OnJadon SanchoEngland

And two goals for Sterling a job done too! On comes Sancho...

  • Mason Mount
    OffRoss BarkleyEnglandTwo goals and that's job done for Barkley. On comes Mount.
  • Mason Mount
    OnMason MountEngland

Two goals and that's job done for Barkley. On comes Mount.


A video of a goal, thankfully...


That is indeed a hat-trick of assists for Kane. All delightful it must be said. Just a goalscorer, init.


Kane again the provider after a brilliant long ball from Pickford. The Spurs captain finds Sterling, who calmly slots in.

  • Raheem Sterling
    GoalRaheem SterlingEnglandGOAL! A FIFTH FOR ENGLAND! And a second for Sterling - no more than he deserves.


And a second for Sterling - no more than he deserves.


It's a training session this. Bulgaria goalkeeper Iliev the only reason this isn't five, six, seven, eight - nil.


SAVE! And now Iliev denies Kane.

A post about a save, a post about the racist abuse, a post about another save... Grim stuff.


Clive Tyldesley is doing a terrific job on commentary for ITV in the circumstances - not what anyone would hope to commentate on, but something many feared going into tonight's match.


ITV now reporting their pitch-side mics have picked up more abuse. It's unclear yet whether this will lead to an abandonment.


GOOD STOP! Work for Pickford to do, but he dives down to his left to keep about Zanev's strike from distance.


A moment to finally laugh about, with England 4-0 up... It's Sterling who appears to catch Barkley with the pair through on goal, and it results in Bulgaria goalkeeper gathering the ball as the England duo look at each other in disbelief.


SAVE! Sterling again somehow does not score his second of the night. He cuts onto his left foot but Iliev makes a save with his feet.


A chronology of events, from ITV's footage... Damning, despicable footage of some Bulgaria fans.


Confident run forward from Mings but nothing comes of his burst into attack. Nothing but admiration for the defender on his England debut in the most difficult of circumstances.


WIDE! England perhaps should have a fifth. Rashford is denied and then Sterling sends the rebound wide. He'll be disappointed with that.


Ha. Kraev dispossesses his own player Despodov then scuffs a shot high and wide.

  • Bozhidar Kraev
    OffGeorgi SarmovBulgariaThere was a half-time sub for Bulgaria, too.
  • Bozhidar Kraev
    OnBozhidar KraevBulgaria

There was a half-time sub for Bulgaria, too.


Ah yes, football. Kane forces a decent save from Iliev as England go in search of a fifth.


Also worth mentioning that at half-time footage showed Bulgarian captain Ivelin Popov talking with some home supporters.

There will be consequences, you would hope/imagine, but fingers crossed the abuse has disappeared with those who left the stadium in the first half.


So will we get to see some football? It's easy to forget are 4-0 up and cruising in this match.

2nd HALF 

Back under way, let's see if we have 45 minutes of football in store or not...

  • End of 1st Half

Four goals for England, but after two of the three steps have been implemented regarding UEFA's anti-racism protocols, we're also one step away from this game being abandoned.

Barely even feels like a football match.

  • Raheem Sterling
    GoalRaheem SterlingEnglandGOAL ENGLAND!  It's a fourth for England, and it's Sterling who taps in Kane's cross.


It's a fourth for England, and it's Sterling who taps in Kane's cross.


This is just depressing, but the show goes on - for now.

That appears to be step two of the process done - the next step would see the game abandoned.

And this, is Mings' England debut....


Jeers from the Bulgarian fans with the match still halted. The monkey chants could be heard with Mings on the ball - quite clearly.

And now, some Bulgarian fans are leaving the stadium - whether they've been asked to leave or leaving on their own accord, if any of them have been involved in the abuse so far tonight, then they're not welcome back. Anywhere.

Play is resumed, with six minutes added on.


The referee has been called to the sideline... he's speaking with Southgate while Henderson is having words with the Bulgaria head coach.


And now ITV claiming Southgate is having further words with the fourth official.

The second step of UEFA's protocol is for the players to head to the dressing room while ANOTHER announcement is made to the supporters, warning them the next step is the game being abandoned.


Mings has been subjected to monkey noises the past few minutes. It's so clear to hear. So desperately sad to hear.


Grim. This. Should be blogging a football match... Just imagine what's going through the England players' heads in such circumstances.


ITV now confirming that it was indeed the first stage of UEFA's three-step protocol after England players reported abuse from supporters.

That incident, more than the goals you would have to say, has made the England fans louder in the past few minutes.


Another delightful goal for England, Barkley's sixth for his country, as he latches onto a fine Kane cross and heads in a third.

On the pitch, as it stands, this is one-way traffic.

  • Ross Barkley
    GoalRoss BarkleyEnglandGOAL! A THIRD FOR ENGLAND! And another for Barkley...


And another for Barkley...


Also. Just half-an-hour gone, regardless of whether we see another incident before the match finishes, it's say to safe we haven't heard the last of that.



Step one? It appears so. A tannoy announcement is met by whistles by the home supporters.

UEFA's three-step protocol states if players are racially abused, the referee first halts play and an announcement to the supporters to immediately stop racist behaviour is made


The referee just makes his way over to the fourth official, with ITV commentary stating that boos have been aimed at Sterling in recent minutes. The referee has clearly halted the match, and has spoken to Kane - England's captain - too.


Late, poor challenge on Sterling but Zanev avoids punishment - somehow.


So, after the first quarter, an obvious improvement on Friday, albeit against a poorer opponent. Qualification may not be guaranteed tonight, but they're taking a mighty step towards Euro 2020.


They'll be asking Roy Keane about this one at half-time in the ITV studio...

Keane said Barkley "hasn't done enough" to warrant a starting spot in international football, but here he is getting on the end of a fine England move, which saw Sterling play a lovely one-two with Kane before crossing it over to the Chelsea midfielder.

  • Ross Barkley
    GoalRoss BarkleyEnglandGOAL ENGLAND! A lovely team move and it's Barkley who gets on the end of it...


A lovely team move and it's Barkley who gets on the end of it...


Ukraine 1-0 up against Portugal. Shouldn't really affect Ronaldo and co if it stays that way, although if Serbia get a result at Lithuania they could get twitchy.


Bulgaria go on the break and win a corner of their own after Trippier heads it out - and there's Pickford to claim the cross.


Chilwell sends in a dangerous cross but it's cleared with Sterling just about to pounce. Still England have a corner which Henderson takes, it's deep towards Maguire but Bulgaria clear again.


Andddd Kosovo have just gone 1-0 up at home to Montenegro, so as it stands England will have to wait to qualify...


The goal sees Rashford end a run of 12 games without scoring a goal from open play for United and England, by the way.


GOOD SAVE! What was I saying about not conceding so soon after scoring? Bulgaria go close, very close, as Popov's fierce strike deflects off Mings and heads for the bottom corner, but Pickford gets down well to parry it away.


And here's the goal...


England led after five minute three days ago, and conceded four minutes later. They won't need reminding...


Quality play from Rashford down the left, who sells Pashov a dummy, cuts onto his right foot and bends an effort into the far corner from a tight angle.

Replays show goalkeeper Iliev should have done much better, but that will be a huge confidence boost for the United forward.

  • Marcus Rashford
    GoalMarcus RashfordEnglandGOAL!  Loooovely goal from Marcus Rashford!


Loooovely goal from Marcus Rashford!


Debut man.

Tyrone Mings of England makes his way out to warm up prior to the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier between Bulgaria and England on October 14, 2019 in Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Jordan Henderson
    Yellow cardJordan HendersonEnglandHenderson is late into a challenge on Hadzhiev and he gets booked with four minutes on the clock...

Henderson is late into a challenge on Hadzhiev and he gets booked with four minutes on the clock...


England controlling possession early on but not pressing too hard. Just looking to stamp their authority.


Friday's defeat as you will have heard already most likely was England's first in a qualifer for 10 years. They haven't lost two in a row for 12 years... Yep, that time they failed to make Euro 2008.

  • 1st Half

RIght then, an England side with five changes from Friday are under way in Sofia - we'll keep you updated with Kosovo's match at home to Montenegro, plus other scores too.

England win, Kosovo fail to win - England are into Euro 2020 - that's what you need to know!


Also worth noting that issues surrounding racism and UEFA's protocols have dominated the build-up to this one. England players have said they are willing to walk off should they be subject to any abuse - should it happen tonight, it will be a case of looking out for whether they adhere to the three-step process which UEFA have put in place.


The players are out at the Vasil Levski Stadium, which is partially closed - 5,000 seats in total - due to sanctions for 'racist behaviour' by supporters.

Far from full beside those 5,000 seats too.




Elsewhere... There are a couple of reet battles across Europe this evening, with two groups seeing the top-two nations face off. Ukraine host Portugal, with the former having a five-point advantage over the Euro 2016 winners, albeit having played a game more. Ukraine qualify with a draw, or if Serbia do not beat Lithuania, while Portugal will qualify with victory if Serbia fail to win.

Then there's Turkey vs France, both on 18 points and six clear of third-placed Iceland. Turkey will qualify tonight if they win and Iceland do not, or if they draw and Iceland lose, while France can qualify with a win or if they draw and Iceland don't win. Clear as mud.


Some details are unclear, but news has emerged ahead of the match that a British man has died in Sofia, with Sky Sports News reporting that he was an England fan, but the death was not linked to any football violence.

A spokeswoman for the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior said: "A 32-year-old man has sadly died.

"At 10am today, the police received a signal to attend a man in a helpless condition, in the city centre.

"He was a foreign national, from Britain, and he was taken to hospital but he sadly died. Police are working to clarify all the circumstances in the incident.

"There is no further detail on any injuries. There will be a forensic examination to find out what the cause of death was."


Harry Kane or Marcus Rashford... off to Barcelona? The Spanish champions are looking for a No 9, according to today's Euro Papers.


What England need: A win in Sofia, coupled with Kosovo failing to beat Montenegro at home, would see England book a Euro 2020 spot tonight.

Any other scenario and they'll have to wait, again.


As reported ahead of the match, Southgate brings in Tyrone Mings for his England debut.

Mings comes into central defence and partners Harry Maguire, with the Aston Villa man one of five changes from the Czech defeat as Michael Keane drops to the bench.

Ben Chilwell replaces Danny Rose, Ross Barkley and Harry Winks come in for Declan Rice and Mason Mount, while it’s Marcus Rashford ahead of Jadon Sancho up front.

(Here's one they made earlier...)


England XI: Pickford, Trippier, Maguire, Mings, Chilwell, Winks, Henderson, Barkley, Sterling, Kane, Rashford

Subs: Pope, D.Henderson, Sancho, Rice, Mount, Tomori, Abraham, Keane, Gomez, Wilson, Alexander-Arnold


Bulgaria XI: Iliev, Pashov, Terziev, Hadzhiev, Nazev, Wanderson, Kostaninov, Despodov, Samov, Popov, Isa


Right then, England are in Bulgaria for their second Euro 2020 qualifier of this international break, three days after losing 2-1 in the Czech Republic. We'll get to permutations shortly, but Gareth Southgate has shaken things up a bit, so let's have a look at the teams first ahead of kick-off at 7.45pm...


Evening all. We go again. Although this time, an England win wouldn't exactly guarantee a Euro 2020 spot just yet (it depends on Kosovo, you see...)