England Under 21s suffer defeat to Croatia ahead of European Championship
A challenging result in preparation for the Euros
England Under 21s suffered a defeat against Croatia in their latest match ahead of the European Championship. Lee Carsley, the team’s coach, is determined to avoid a repeat of England’s embarrassing group-stage exit from two years ago. The loss to Croatia serves as a reminder that the squad must focus and perform well when it matters.
A valuable learning experience
Croatia provided a different test to the game with France over the weekend. While France attempted to dominate the game, creating gaps for English players to exploit, Croatia played defensively and waited for opportunities to attack. This tactic by Croatia has given Carsley’s side more experience on how to handle these types of games in their upcoming group-stage fixtures against Israel and Czech Republic, who they should beat comfortably.
A lacklustre performance
England struggled against the defensive strategy of Croatia, with players becoming impatient and taking rushed shots. They fell behind just before half-time due to a stunning free-kick from Dinamo Zagreb’s Martin Baturina. Despite Cole Palmer’s dynamic performance on the right, England failed to create clear chances. They also made mistakes in defence, with Luke Thomas’ error leading to a second goal from Croatia after half-time.
A late consolation
England did manage to score in the 86th minute with a goal by substitute Morgan Gibbs-White, who won and converted a penalty. However, it wasn’t enough to turn the tide of the game and they ultimately suffered a 2-1 defeat to Croatia.
Overall, it was a challenging game for England Under 21s, who will need to improve their patience and possession strategies if they want to succeed in the upcoming European Championship. The defeat against Croatia serves as a valuable lesson for the team to prepare for and overcome similar challenges in the future.