England 1-0 Croatia result, goals, summary: UEFA Euro 2020 | Group D
England 1-0 Croatia | Euro 2020, Group D
England win first ever opener
This was meant to be the toughest of the three group games for Gareth Southgate's side, and if that proves to be the case then they have a comfortable ride ahead.
Croatia couldn't live with the speed and movement of their hosts in the opening 20 minutes and almost fell behind within five but Foden's effort came back of the inside of the post. But no goal arrived, and as the first half drew to a close, the visitors found themselves with increased possession and an extra hint at being a threat.
It was Zlatko Dalić's team that began the second half sharper but that fire was quickly extinguished by Raheem Sterling who finished off a great run and pass from Leeds' Kalvin Phillips, who made a good claim for man of the match.
After the goal, various substitutions were made but the home fans rarely had much to concern themselves about. A solid and professional performance from The Three Lions, who win the opening group game for the first time. Next up, their Auld Enemy Scotland on Friday night.
FULL-TIME: ENGLAND 1-0 CROATIA
Goals: Sterling (57')
Peep, peep, peeeeep! England win their opener
Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin comes on for goal-scorer Sterling.
Perisic tries to make something happen but the link-up play in front of goal falls apart and Pickford cleans up.
Although they've only scored the one today, Southgate is goign to be delighted with the restriction of chances for their opponents.
We'll have four additional minutes
Bellinghman tries to flick a long pass on but in doing so clashes heads. A bit of attention and he should be fine...
Modric is up and delivers to the back post where Duje Caleta-Car and John Stones are battling to win the header.
The Croatian big-man's hands are all over the City defender and the whistle blows to explain why that's not allowed.
Modric gets involved and maintains possession despite a number of attempted challenges coming in on him.
Then Phillips ploughs through him.
As England win the ball back in midfield, Sterling immediately looks to send Rashford sprinting away into the acres of space ahead of him.
It's a very disappointing pass from the City winger though and Livakovic collects.
Teenage sensation Jude Bellingham comes on for Kane
Brekalo tries to get in on the left but is marked by three Englishmen and Sterling is the one to hoof it clear.
Managing a single-goal lead
Sam Wallace has, like many of us, watched these situations unfold before...
Petkovic on for Rebic. Fresh legs up top as Croatia search for a valuable equaliser-
We've had a small stoppage in play as John Stones received some attention for a knock.
Initial images suggested he may not be able to continue but he's fine and back running.
Sterling skies great chance
A deep free-kick for England is floated towards the back post where the big men have congregated. Mings appears to win it and knocks back invitingly to the earlier goalscorer.
The groundsmen are still searching the car park for the ball.
Vrsaljko fires a dangerous cross in from the right. Perisic is in the middle making his pressence known but between Mings and Pickford they tidy things up.
Rashford on for Foden
Vlasic on for Brozovic
Brekalo on for Kramaric
Mount tries his luck but the ball is just over the bar.
Substitutions on their way...
Brozovic next into the ref's little book. He probably doesn't mind as he stopped Mount getting any further but it's a chance from the free-kick for England.
Croatian chances open up
Rebic ends a game of pinball by completely miscueing an effort from around the England penalty spot. His fans behind the goal can't quite believe that.
Good, good opportunity.
Foden into the book. A late, and seemingly unnecessary, clip on hte back of the defender's ankle.
Kane is back on and looks fine. Southgate chatting on the sidelines about how to manage the end of this game.
Great chance for Kane
The striker meets an excellent Mount cross at the back post and you'd have backed him with some serious cash to have knocked it home.
Instead, he skies it and then injures himself as his momentum takes into the upright.
Since the goal England have just held onto the ball, mainly in opposition territory without bursting to create another chance.
Patience and hold on or finish them off? That is the decision now.
Gooooaaaaaaallll!! Sterling gives England the lead
Brilliant play from Phillips, skipping past two tackles before sliding in his teammate who fires home under pressure, only half-saved by Livakovic.
Rare shot on target from Croatia
Good possession from the visitors out on the left is quickly moved into the centre and finally to Modric. The Madrid veteren goes for goal from distance but it's bread and butter for Pickford.
After breaking up a potential Croatian threat, Trippier sprints forward, feeds Kane, who in turn lays it off to Foden.
The noise from the crowd suggests something exciting is building but it really isn't and everything is slowed up and reversed. A moment of magic required from someoene.
Rebic almost latches onto a loose back header from Trippier but Pickford is on his toes and quickly out to clear.
A nervy first few minutes from the home side.
Ouchie! Kovacic flies into what appeared like a 50:50 and Mount feels the pain. The former teammates both come away from it OK but the Croatian picks up a booking.
Perisic again pushes on, this time getting caught just offside.
The visitors' tails are up.
Immediately Croatia are onto the front foot, Perisic saying to Stones, 'Come on then, let's see who's fastest!'
The Man City defender wins that battle but then a blocked Mings clearance almost loops over Pickford.
Peeep! Back underway, no changes to personnel.
OK, the players are back out on this sunny London afternoon...
England started their Euro 2020 campaign with a bang, at least one from a toy gun. There was plenty to enjoy from the hosts in the first 20-25 minutes but not damage done to a hard-working Croatia side.
And as the half wore on, the threat from England dropped at the same time as Zlatko Dalić's boys gained more confidence. Their chances were limited but there was definitely a shift away from them being dominated.
Of course, had that early Foden effort been three centimeters to the right, things could have been very different.
Peeeep! There will be no added time and the players head off to the dressing rooms for some refreshments and advice.
Clatter! Perisic at full tilt is tackled cleanly by Mings but the momentum takes the Inter man straight into the defender. He's quick to lift him to his feet.
It is indeed the Atlético man to try his luck.
A right-footed curler can't get over the large black wall and Croatia clear to safety.
Duje Caleta-Car is the first name into the book for an accidental handball as he attempted to stop Sterling entering the penalty area.
Nice position for Trippier, maybe, to have a go.
Sterling and Foden link up again, this time on the edge of the Croatian penalty area. Too many defenders for them to find a gap though.
Touch! Foden brings down a long pass out of defence on his outstretched left boot as if catching a balloon with a large net. Immediately, aware of his surroundings, he lays it off to a supporting player. Class act!
Perisic and Kovacic are the men taking on the role of getting their side back into this game. Modric always making himself available too.
Still not a major worry for Pickford but Southgate may be concerned that his team have let the tempo slip away somewhat.
Croatia slowly coming into game
As we reach the half-hour mark in what has been a very one-sided start, there have been signs in the last few minutes that Croatia are growing into this.
First Perisic, then Vrsaljko find themselves in promising positions, but neither fashions a real chance.
Sterling tries his luck with a half-volley from the edge of the area!
The fans get excited at the prospect of the ball finding the top corner as Livakovic waves to it as it heads towards Row-Z.
Gvardiol follows up on his teammate's example from the other flank but his cross is even easier to deal with.
Croatia yet to really show much, but we've seen this pattern to games before.
Mings has to be alert - which he is - to meet and head clear from around his own six-yard ball. A decent Vrsaljko cross one of the few threats posed thus far from the visitors.
More England pressure
Foden is almost toying with the various Croatians that bravely step out to mark him. Gvardiol this time does really well to dispossess the City player.
England, though, are back on the ball and a lofted pass from Mount is brought under control in the area delightfully by Sterling. He then tries to dink a ball to his wauting teammates at the far post but underhits it and the danger is gone.
Phillips gives away a free-kick and then fires the ball goalwards anyway which draws a flying save from Livakovic. Meant nothing but could see some impressive photos later.
Mount deep on the left looks for options in the centre. His eventual delivery is deflected and Croatia appear to break away but a challenge from Kovacic hands his hosts a free-kick, around 30 yards from goal, middle of the park.
The delivery is good but an early step forward by Kane prompts an offside flag to be waved.
Croatia have won the ball back but are incapable of holding on to it for long. Those brief moments are met with boos from the crowd.
It's all England at the moment and the limited crowd are making their support heard.
Foden again picks up the ball just inside on the right, cuts inside and tries his luck. Saved again.
England on top
Two more chances for the hosts in quick succession. First Sterling is played into the inside left channel, but is hustled out of it at the expense of a corner.
From the dead ball situation, a headed clearance is cleanly volleyed back in by Phillips. It makes it through the crowd and any touch would likely have taken it past the relieved Livakovic who pushes it away.
Foden inches away from opener
CLANG! Brilliant play from Foden who takes a pass from Sterling in his stride, cuts inside and tries to curl an effort into the far left corner.
It rebounds off the inside of the post and away to saftey.
Croatia get their first chance to threaten, Perisic down the left, feining a cross a couple of times before bringing Modric into play on the edge of the area.
England's defence are on top of them and get it cleaned up without much bother.
Foul given away by Sterling there. Nothing serious but got in the way of anything being created. Cagey start.
The hosts with the early possession, as Croatia allow them to knock the ball around in their own half.
As soon as they move forward though, the black shirts are all over them.
England, all in white and playing right to left as I look on, get the ball rolling.
Peeeep! We're off!
Almost time for kick-off and England players take the knee, something that has been making a lot of noise
Queen at risk
The home players and fans next up, giving a proud rendition of the need for the most protected person in the world to be looked after by the Almighty.
It's a modern world we live in...
The Croatian players and fans let rip...
Our beautiful homeland,
O so fearless and gracious.
Our fathers’ ancient glory,
May you be blessed forever.
Southgate on Trippier decision
“With Kieran we feel he's a very experienced player and a good 1 v 1 defender to stop crosses coming in. His communication and leadership will be a help and his experience will help us.
"The two boys out of the squad and Harry Magurie, it's just unfortunate we can only name 23 and we've had to cover certain positions. I don't like having to leave players out of the squad at a major tournament.”
England vs Croatia
The hosts have the best of the head-to-head over the years, and also came through qualifying more comfortably.
Will that count for anything this afternoon? Kick-off just 10 minutes away...
Southgate questioned before kick-off
The left-back situation is certainly not something that is being accepted as a simple decision from the England boss.
He'll have to answer some tough questions afterwards no doubt if this doesn't go to plan.
Madrid's Euro focus
With Spain boss Luis Enrique not having picked any Real Madrid players in his squad, the LaLiga club will be looking at other countries. Today: Modric!
One question I've seen asked a lot out there is why, if in most international matters it's done as the United Kingdom (including the Olympic Games), do the nations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland get to represent themselves in football tournaments like the Euros.
Our William Allen had a good look at this question and brings you all the answers. I guarantee you will know something new after reading this.
Croatia deep dive
If you're not completely au fait with Zlatko Dalic's lads, check out this detailed insight piece by Aleksandar Holiga. A little snippet...
'Four players from the World Cup final starting XI have now retired – Danijel Subasic, Ivan Strinic, Mario Mandzukic and Ivan Rakitic. All of their replacements – Dominik Livakovic, Borna Barisic, Nikola Vlasic and Bruno Petkovic – have done well so far.
'Cracks have appeared elsewhere, particularly in an ageing defence that has proved very vulnerable, particularly at set pieces.
'There is an urge for more fresh blood in the form of Duje Caleta-Car, Domagoj Bradaric or Josko Gvardiol, while Sime Vrsaljko, finally back from injuries, appears a shadow of his former self.'
Modric expected to spark again?
The Real Madrid man will likely be the one to watch once again for the visitors today, but his aging legs means he'll need plenty of support around him, something we've seen in LaLiga this past season.
Kramaric has been given a starting role in place of Petkovic, and that could well see Rebic leading the line and getting as close to Pickford as possible.
Vlasic's fitness concerns means there's only a place for him on the bench although he could well cause some damage later on.
What no Grealish? Where's Sancho?
We've been debating all week what starting side Southgate would go for and it's fair to say that there are some disappointed faces around.
With so much attacking flair available, everyone had their own fanciful ideas on who he may go with; Jack Grealish and Jadon Sancho being two particular desired swashbucklers.
The Villa man could get some action from the bench, while there is no place even there for the Dortmund youngster.
Interestingly, Atlético Madrid's right-back Kieran Trippier starts at left-back, despite Shaw/Chilwell options. We'll wait for comment on that one later.
Starting XI: Croatia
Livakovic; Vrsaljko, Vida, Caleta-Car, Gvardiol; Brozovic, Kovacic, Modric; Perisic, Kramaric, Rebic
Substitutes: Kalinic, Sluga, Brekalo, Vlasic, Budimir, Pasalic, Skoric, Badelj, Petkovic, Juranovic, Bradaric, Ivanusec.
Starting XI: England
Pickford; Walker, Stones, Mings; Trippier; Rice, Phillips; Foden, Mount, Sterling; Kane
Substitutes: Henderson, Johnstone, Shaw, Grealish, Henderson, Rashford, Coady, Calvert-Lewin, White, James, Saka, Bellingham.
It sounds like the team news is coming in...
Taking the knee / booing the team
The Football Association issued a statement asking England fans to respect the right of players to "take a knee" as a protest against racial injustice, and not boo them before matches at the European Championship.
England players were booed by some fans before two recent friendlies when they knelt - a protest borrowed from American NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and popularised by the Black Lives Matter movement.
"We encourage those that oppose this action to reflect on the message you are sending to the players you are supporting," the FA said ahead of England's opening match of the tournament against Croatia at Wembley on Sunday.
"Please respect their wishes and remember that we should all be united in the fight to tackle discrimination. Together. They will do their best for you. Please do your best for them."
England manager Gareth Southgate, who has participated in the gesture on the touchline, expressed his hope that the nation would unite behind the team during the tournament.
A YouGov poll published this week found that 54% of fans in England supported players "taking the knee" with 39% opposed.
Critics of the protest say it improperly politicises sport and they dislike the gesture's links to the organised element of Black Lives Matter, which some consider a far-left movement imported from the United States.
"Fans understand perfectly well ... they are there to watch a football match, not to be lectured on morality," said Brendan Clarke-Smith, a member of Parliament for the ruling Conservative Party.
The FA also released an emotional plea for fans to unite behind the players in a video on social media.
"This is personally important to the players and the values the team collectively represents," the FA statement continued.
"It is not new, and English football has made it very clear that it does not view this as being aligned to a political organisation or ideology.
"There can be no doubt as to why the players are taking the knee and what it represents in a footballing context."
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Saturday he thought it was "totally wrong" to boo the England team.
England's 26-man squad
World Cup 2018 Golden Boot winner Harry Kane (Tottenham) is the key man up front and will be an undeniable starter.
Southgate is spoiled for choice when it comes attacking options, with the likes of Manchester United star Marcus Rashford, PFA Young Player of the Year Phil Foden (Manchester City), Aston Villas’s Jack Grealish, and Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, all having made their case to join Kane up front.
We have already assessed the early choices made by Gareth Southgate and in just a few minutes I'll be able to comment on his first XI.
As well as a preview to each of the three games today and details on how to watch the matches, we have also made our predictions.
Find out all the details here.
Before anything else, let me bring you an update on the situation regarding Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen.
The midfielder remained in hospital and was in stable condition on Sunday, after collapsing during his side's Euro 2020 opening match with Finland and being given CPR on the pitch on Saturday, the Danish football association said.
Eriksen "continues to be hospitalized for further examination"
"This morning we have spoken to Christian Eriksen, who has sent his greetings to his teammates. His condition is stable, and he continues to be hospitalized for further examination," Danish FA DBU said on Twitter.
England vs Croatia live: welcome
Hello and a very warm welcome to you from wherever you join us from on the globe today.
We're into Day 3 of the 2020 European Championships - delayed due to a certain pandemic you may have noticed - and to get us going it's England against Croatia from the famous Wembley stadium in London.
The hosts today are already dreaming of using home advantage to reach and win the final here on 11 July, and there are numerous angle from which to analyse this opening game.
Our build up begins here...