Published 22 June 2021 2 min read
England Men's Senior Team
Job done says Sterling
Raheem Sterling reflects on scoring yet another Wembley winner as England finish top of the group
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Raheem Sterling says England did ‘the most important thing’ by winning Group D on Tuesday night with a 1-0 victory over Czech Republic.
Sterling’s 12th-minute winner, his second of the tournament, was enough to secure all three points at Wembley Stadium connected by EE and set up a last-16 tie with the runners-up from Group F.
Playing in his fourth major tournament for the Three Lions, the 26 year old has more caps than any other player in Gareth Southgate’s squad and knows exactly what to expect from tournament football.
“The most important thing, and our objective at the beginning, was to win the group. It is tournament football and it will be difficult at times but we need to keep doing what we are doing,” said Sterling.
“That’s being solid and taking our chances when we can in the final third. It’s tournament football, at some point you have to face the best teams. It is about challenging yourselves.”
Southgate’s side became only the second nation, after Italy, to qualify for the knockout stages of the tournament without conceding - making four changes from their 0-0 draw with Scotland last Friday.
England welcomed Manchester United captain Harry Maguire back to the starting line-up as Jack Grealish assisted Sterling on his first start and Bukayo Saka turned in a man of the match performance.
Sterling’s Manchester City team-mate Kyle Walker also came back into the side at right-back while there were also first tournament appearances for Jordan Henderson and Jadon Sancho from the bench.
“I think there were positives from the game, we kept the ball better, there were more attacking options, we got in the gaps really well and played some good football at times,” he added.
“Jack and Bukayo got in the pockets really well, turned and were positive. It is brilliant to have these players around you that can create goals.
“We got the goal we needed. I had the one [chance] in the first half, the keeper came out quick so I had to lift it. I have to put that away but I got my goal in the end.”
England will find out who they’ll play at Wembley on Tuesday June 29 following the conclusion of the group stages on Wednesday night.