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England vs Croatia, as it happened! All the action from the Euro 2020 group game

England defeated Croatia thanks to Raheem Sterling's second half strike

England vs Croatia
(Image: © Future)

(Sterling 57')

Looking to watch this game? Here's the FourFourTwo guide to finding an England vs Croatia live stream, wherever you are in the world – and here's how to watch every Euro 2020 game.


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And here's how The Three Lions line up. Gareth Southgate has opted for one of his 15,000 right-backs at left-back, while there's no place in the starting XI for Marcus Rashford or Jack Grealish. 

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And here's Croatia. That midfield though... Suddenly Southgate's double-pivot doesn't seem too boring!

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Much is already being made of Southgate's decision to omit Rashford, Grealish and a left-back of any variety from his starting lineup. Who's in and who's out? Check out our England squad page to find out more about the team.

There has been so much focus on the Three Lions in recent months that it's very easy to forget just how good this Croatia team is. Beyond the mercurial genius of Luka Modric, there's a lot of talent there. Check out the Croatia squad in full.

Some pre-game reading to settle the nerves. FFT's Mark White discussed the incredible rise of Mason Mount with Chelsea youth gaffer Jody Morris and it's a really excellent look at the tyro's journey. 

In 10 matches against Croatia, England have won five and drawn two - of course, it’s the three that England lost that we all remember, though.

Croatia beat England twice in the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign and again in Russia during the 2018 World Cup. England won the last meeting, however, in the UEFA Nations League.

It feels a world away now but many of the players who lost that semi-final to Croatia are still in the England squad again this time around, including goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, the back three of Kyle Walker, John Stones and Harry Maguire, defensive midfielder Jordan Henderson, front two Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane, plus goalscorer Kieran Trippier.

Six of those start again today. 

We know he's not starting today but that's just not professional from Maguire...

Euro 2020

(Image credit: Getty)

National anthem time. Croatia's players meekly sing along but, to be fair to them, it's not exactly Toxic by Britney Spears (now that was a banger!). England belt theirs out with the fans in the stadium, but the timing's well off. 

We don't mean to go all Simon Cowell on the Euros but nobody else seems to give a damn and someone has to say it...

KICK OFF And we are off! England are playing in all white (including shorts!) which doesn't sit well with us, to be perfectly honest. Croatia are in the dark blue. 

5 min: CHANCE Phil Foden finds space in the Croatia half, cuts inside and hammers one onto the far post. That would have been bedlam! A very positive start from England. 

7 min: CHANCE Raheem Sterling collects a throw-in and works a clever triangle with Mount and Kane. It leads the Man City man driving towards the near post but the chance is snuffed out and England get a corner. 

The resulting set-piece is headed clear, only for Phillips to smash a low volley towards goal. It's parried away. Electric start from the Three Lions. 

It feels a world away now but many of the players who lost that semi-final to Croatia are still in the England squad again this time around, including goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, the back three of Kyle Walker, John Stones and Harry Maguire, defensive midfielder Jordan Henderson, front two Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane, plus goalscorer Kieran Trippier.

Six of the seven are starting this afternoon.

18 mins: CHANCE Phillips absolutely Vinnie Joneses Kovacic on the edge of his own box and then rifles a shot at goal. It's well saved, however, and cleared. 

The referee, eventually, blows for a full. Game's gone... (definitely a foul though)

Assuming Luka Modric plays a part in all three Euros group games for Croatia this summer, he’ll match Darijo Srna’s appearance record (12) in the competition. One knockout game would mean the little schemer stands out ahead from Srna.

Just one goal from Modric would see him equal the scoring record for Croatia at European Championships (3), too.

The Pope has spoken...

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Mark White has also had his say. Have to agree on the Phillips-Rice combo. Yes they're defensively-minded, but they're also very technical and great at getting the ball forward. 

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28 mins: Croatia are starting to get a foothold in this game now. They're beginning to dominate the middle of the pitch and are getting some decent crosses in. It's like 2018 all over again...

33 mins: FILTHY TOUCH FROM FODEN! The Man City man just plucked a ball out of the sky with Zidane-level control... and then Kyle Walker followed that up with possibly the worst pass ever. England, ladies and gentlemen.

Ominous fact o'clock: Croatia have already beaten England in Europe this season… sort of. Well, Dinamo Zagreb unbelievably overcame Tottenham Hotspur in the Europa League this season, 3-0, inspired by a Mislav Orsic hat-trick. Orsic is in the Croatian squad, while the only English player from that night, Harry Kane, captains the Three Lions today. 

42 mins: CHANCE Kieran Trippier stands over a freekick just on the edge of the area, as England fans across the country hold their breath in expectation. Could the Atletico man repeat his World Cup semi-final heroics and put the Three Lions in the lead again?

No, he couldn't. His promising strike smashes into the granite forehead of Ante Rebic and goes out for a throw. 

HALF TIME Big Gaz sighs a dissatisfied sigh, collects his jacket and heads down the tunnel. It looks as if Jude Bellingham is being sent out to warm up. Could the Borussia Dortmund man be coming on for the second half? 

Some half-time fodder to keep you busy. Read our exclusive interview with Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren - who is not in today's squad despite being in Croatia's squad for Euro 2020 - on that 2018 victory over England, his nation's chances this summer and his refugee origins. 

Gareth "Form Over Reputation" Southgate. What a guy!

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Do England need a little more firepower in the second half? We caught up with Dominic Calvert-Lewin ahead of the tournament and, needless to say, the Everton man is right up for it. Check out our interview with him. 

45 mins: The second half gets underway. No changes for either side. 

It has been brought to our attention that Jesse Lingard is watching this game with a parrot on his shoulder...

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57 mins: GOAL England take the lead through Raheem Sterling, but it's Kalvin Phillips who deserves the bulk of the credit. The Leeds United midfielder collects the ball on the halfway line and drives forward. He cuts inside a challenge and plays a perfectly weighted pass into the path of a rampaging Sterling. The Londoner shoots while getting scythed down by the shot is just strong enough to beat the goalkeeper.

61 mins: CHANCE Harry Kane should have buried that. Mason Mount skins his man on the touchline and whips a ball to the back post. Kane, under pressure from his marker, takes a tumble as he hits a shot over the bar. He crunches his shoulder on the post and needs the physios. 

He's back up on his feet though. No need to panic, guys.

64 mins: Yellow card for Foden, who shoulder barges left-back Gavrdiol yonks after the defender's gotten rid of it. He also stomps on his foot a little bit. It's hard to argue with that. 

66 mins: CHANCE Mason Mount bends a free-kick over the wall and just inches over the bar. England are looking very confident, suddenly. 

England’s record in opening games at tournaments is a little ropey to say the least, as we documented last week. The only opposition that England have beaten in the first match at a competition since 1990 have been Paraguay (2006) and Tunisia (1998 and 2018). No pressure, lads. 

Could this be the start of something new?

70 mins: Changes for both sides. It's a double substitution for Croatia. Kramaric comes off for Josip Brekalo and attacking midfielder Nikola Vlasic replaces defensive midfielder Brozovic. They're going for this. 

Phil Foden is also replaced by Marcus Rashford. 

Pure filth, those Croations...

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78 mins: Croatia substitution. Striker Bruno Petkovic has come on for Ante Rebic. Croatia haven't looked like scoring in this second half. Can he make the difference? 

81 mins: England also make a change. Jude Bellingham - the 17-year-old in case that wasn't already mentioned 500 times - comes on for Harry Kane. Not the Spurs striker's greatest display but he worked hard. 

Before Raheem Sterling's strike, England’s last three goals from open play at a European Championship were the two they netted against Wales in 2016 and the Wayne Rooney bundle over the line against Ukraine in 2012. So this problem creatively? Not exclusively a Southgate thing, it seems… 

Consider FFT's Mark White satisfied...

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88 mins: Bellingham - who only just came on, bless him - clashes heads with Vida and had to receive medical assistance on the pitch. That looked sore. You sort of get the feeling, though, that Jude absolutely LOVES it up him. 

Read our exclusive interview with the boy wonder here.

92 mins: Raheem Sterling - who has worked his nuts off and deserved his goal today - makes way for DCL. Positive switch from Southgate this late in the game. 

FULL TIME England actually... looked comfortable against a good side. Bizarre. 

Hardly a vintage performance from the Three Lions, but they rarely looked troubled by Croatia. They'll need to tighten up centrally - Modric and Brozovic were on top for large potions of that game - but very few chances were conceded. Sterling deserved his goal after a difficult season. Southgate looked rightfully thrilled with that display. 

Here's the goal, in case you missed it...

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