Euro 2024Football

England secures tense victory over Serbia in Euro 2024 opener

The England national football team kicked off their Euro 2024 campaign with a narrow 1-0 victory against Serbia in their Group C opener, held in Gelsenkirchen.

Despite the win, England’s performance raised concerns, especially in the second half.

The match saw an early goal from England’s Jude Bellingham, who headed home in the 29th minute, giving England a deserved lead. Bellingham’s goal marked him as only the second player to score at both the World Cup and European Championship before turning 21, following in the footsteps of Michael Owen.

Despite their strong start, England’s intensity waned in the second half. Serbia pushed hard for an equalizer, forcing England to defend resolutely. Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford made a crucial save in the dying minutes to secure the victory for England.

Sky Sports pundit Micah Richards noted, “England lacked belief in the second half. We need to control games better, especially when we have the lead.” His comments reflected the general sentiment that while England started brightly, they struggled to maintain their dominance throughout the match.

READ MORE: Euro 2024: Erik Janza rescues point for Slovenia against Christian Eriksen inspired Denmark

Peter Smith of Sky Sports added, “Three points in the bag, and with Denmark and Slovenia drawing earlier, England are well on course for the knockouts. But the second half performance shows there’s plenty to work on if England want to go deep in this tournament.”

England’s head coach, Gareth Southgate, continued his impressive record of winning opening games in major tournaments. However, the team’s inability to push for a second goal and their reliance on defending the narrow lead highlighted areas needing improvement.

As for Serbia, the loss was another setback in their tournament history, adding to their string of defeats at major competitions. Despite their efforts, they couldn’t break down England’s defense and failed to capitalize on their second-half pressure.

Looking ahead, England will need to address their second-half issues and find ways to maintain control and composure if they aim to progress further in Euro 2024.

The victory places them in a strong position in Group C, but tougher challenges lie ahead.

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