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Sluggish England punished in Prague as Czech Republic seal comeback win

Sluggish England punished in Prague as Czech Republic seal comeback win

11/10/2019 at 21:35Updated 12/10/2019 at 18:48

Euro 2020 Qualifier – Group A - Sinobo Stadium – Czech Republic 2 (Brabec 9’, Ondrasek 85') England 1 (Kane 5’ pen)

England will have to wait to confirm a spot at Euro 2020 after the Czech Republic came from behind to win 2-1 and inflict a first qualifying defeat on the Three Lions in 10 years.

The visitors got off to a flyer when Harry Kane fired home his 27th goal for his country from the spot after Raheem Sterling was tumbled on five minutes.

However, the Czechs were level within four minutes as Jakub Brabec punished some sloppy defending at a left-wing corner to fire in at the far post.

England looked a shadow of the side that had won all four of their Group A matches coming into this clash in Prague and paid the price for a real off-day when substitute Zdenek Ondrasek stroked home the winner five minutes from time.

It saw Gareth Southgate's men lose for the first time in 44 qualifying matches and ensures the Czechs move level on 12 points with England at the summit of the pool, albeit having played a game more.

The Three Lions will now travel to Bulgaria on Monday and will qualify if they win in Sofia and third-placed Kosovo do not defeat Montenegro.

TALKING POINT

A nasty wake up call for Southgate and Co. This was as poor as England have played in a long time. The defence was shaky and the midfield lacked invention and authority. The forwards showed signs of quality in fits and starts, especially when the team reverted to 4-3-3 from 4-2-3-1, but in truth no one really shone in Prague. The loss is likely to be just a blip in terms of qualification as England still have their destiny firmly in their hands with three matches to play. However, Southgate will be very unhappy and keen for his charges to try and make immediate amends in Bulgaria.

Declan Rice of England reacts during the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier between Czech Republic and England at Eden Arena on October 11, 2019

Declan Rice of England reacts during the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier between Czech Republic and England at Eden Arena on October 11, 2019Getty Images

MAN OF THE MATCH

Zdenek Ondrasek (Czech Republic). Not a bad way to mark your debut for your country. The FC Dallas forward put himself about when he came on in the second half and was composed enough when the late chance dropped his way.

PLAYER RATINGS

CZECH REPUBLIC: Vaclik 7, Coufal 7, Celustka 7, Brabec 7, Boril 7, Soucek 7, Kral 6, Masopust 7, Darida 7, Jankto 6, Schick 7. Subs: Ondrasek 7, Kopic n/a, Zmrhal n/a.

ENGLAND: Pickford 7, Trippier 6, Keane 6, Maguire 6, Rose 6, Rice 6, Henderson 6, Mount 6, Sterling 7, Sancho 6, Kane 7. Subs: Rashford 6, Barkley 6, Abraham n/a.

KEY MOMENTS

5' - GOAL! Czech Republic 0-1 England. Kane converts an early penalty as he sends Vaclik the wrong way with a clinical strike down the middle. The visitors lead via the spot after Stlering was clearly upended after surging into the left side of the box.

9' - GOAL! Czech Republic 1-1 England. The Czechs are level. England go to sleep defending a left-wing corner and Jakub Brabec is left free at the post to slam home.

34' - ENGLAND CHANCE. A super double block! Kane finds space for a shot with a late run into the area. His effort ricochets to Mount, who sees his attempt on the spin well blocked.

41' - CZECH REPUBLIC CHANCE. Masopust drags his shot across the face of goal after the Czechs had cut England open once more with a simple cross and flick-on from the left.

58' - ENGLAND CHANCE. Tomás Vaclik does brilliantly to rush out and deny Sterling after Kane had sent the Man City man clear.

78' - CZECH REPUBLIC CHANCE. Alex Kral plays a neat one-two and drives into the right side of the England box before seeing his rasping drive beaten away by Pickford at the near post.

85' - GOAL! Czech Republic 2-1 England. Ondrasek steers home on his debut after good work by Masopust on the right.

KEY STATS

England have lost a European Championship/World Cup qualifying match for the first time since October 10th 2009 (a 1-0 defeat to Ukraine), ending a sequence of 43 qualifying matches unbeaten (W34 D9).

Kane has scored 20 England goals in games when starting as captain - in the history of the England national team, only Vivian Woodward has scored more goals when starting as captain (23 goals between 1908 and 1911)

Ondrášek has scored on his international debut for Czech Republic, scoring with his first shot in international football.

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