UEFA Nations League Group A 4: England v Croatia Review
Result: England 2 Croatia 1
A winning correct score tip from our free football bets at 15/2.
England rallied superbly from being a goal down to Croatia to win a critical UEFA Nations League fixture at the Wembley stadium on Sunday and secure a berth in the final stages of the tournament.
The 2018 World Cup finalists looked well on course to wrap things up on the back of Andrej Kramaric's 57th minute goal. The Three Lions' huge 61 per cent ball-possession, 10 attempts and 5 shots on target in the first-half did nothing to the add to the goalless score line at the interval, bringing anew old fears haunting Gareth Southgate's side.
The brilliant on-field performances of Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford and Ben Chilwell got cruelly negated by the visitor's first shot on target that produced Kramaric's goal.
Croatia's custodian Nikola Kalinic also needs to be credited for some brilliant job between the posts in the first-half, saving at least three certain goals for his side.
Southgate, however, was forced to make changes with the scoreline reading 0-1, introducing attacking options in the form of Del Alli, Jesse Lingard and 18-year old Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho in the 63rd and 73rd minutes of play. That seemed to galvanize the English once more just when it seemed that the visitors were beginning to take control of the proceedings and hold on to their lead.
Lingard scored from the goal-line line from a ball somehow essayed by Kane in a goalmouth melee helping England restore parity in the 78th minute.
Harry Kane slid in full-length to a Ben Chilwell free-kick to give England their second goal to the delirious raptures of the Wembley crowd.
The Three Lions hung on to the 2-1 lead for the next 8 anxious minutes when the Croats tried mounting a counter-attack in search of the sucker-punch equalizer, making sure of their passage to the top of the heap.
The England team have proved that they can stand up to the best in the business, scoring a remarkable win away in Spain a month ago and following it up with this one at the Wembley.
A relieved Spain are the other side through to the next stage, coming in second in the cluster A4 standings with 6 points while coach Zlatko Dalic's men will have to eat humble pie with their relegation to the League B status.
England and Wembley have quite evidently embraced this new Nations League format which, not very long ago,was viewed with much skepticism.