England will have to wait to have a secured birth in Euro 2020 after Czech Republic ended England’s 43 games unbeaten run in Euro Qualifiers and defeated them two goals to one despite England netting the opening goal.
Gareth Southgate’s men could have secured a place for themselves in the Euro 2020 scheduled to be held next summer had they registered a win but they should not complain, given that they were simply not up to the mark against a team which looked a completely different unit from the one they had hammered 5-0 at Wembley in March.
Notably, England can still go on to qualify for the tournament if they beat Bulgaria and Kosovo fail to go past Montenegro.
England had a dream start to the match when captain Hary Kane scored the opening goal of the match from the penalty spot in just the fifth minute after Lukas Masopust had fouled Raheem Sterling. However, England clearly did not put up their best show on the day and consequently could not use the opening goal to their advantage.
The Czechs netted in the equaliser soon after Kane’s goal. Jakub Brabec scored for them following a corner. With England looking down and out, substitute Zdenek Ondrasek scored the winner for Czech Republic with just four minutes left.
England’s defeat could have been worse if not for their goalkeeper Jordan Pickford who produced fine saves from Vladimir Coufal, Masopust and Alex Kral.
They will have a chance to get things right against Bulgaria in Sofia on Monday but the defeat comes as a reality check for a team that aims at achieving great heights next summer. This was England’s first defeat in a qualifier since their 1-0 defeat to Ukraine on 10 October 2009.