Raheem Sterling Leads England to Easy Euro 2020 Qualifier Win vs. Czech Republic

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 22: Raheem Sterling of England celebrates the 3rd goal with Jadon Sancho during the 2020 UEFA European Championships group A qualifying match between England and Czech Republic at Wembley Stadium on March 22, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Marc Atkins/Getty Images

England successfully began 2020 UEFA European Championship qualifying after a 5-0 victory over the Czech Republic on Friday.

Raheem Sterling's extraordinary form continued as the forward scored a hat-trick, with Harry Kane netting a penalty on the stroke of half-time.

Borussia Dortmund starlet Jadon Sancho provided an assist on his competitive debut for the Three Lions as he started in the attack. Chelsea prodigy Callum Hudson-Odoi was also given his first cap, replacing Sterling in the second half.

Hudson-Adoi's aggressive dribble and shot was rewarded in the closing stages. The effort rebounded off Tomas Kalas for an own goal.

It was a complete performance from England, with an electric atmosphere at Wembley Stadium as the hosts played with swagger.


Sancho Shows He's Already World-Class on Competitive Debut

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 22: Raheem Sterling of England walks off with the match ball as he speaks to Dele Alli and Jadon Sancho during the 2020 UEFA European Championships group A qualifying match between England and Czech Republic at Wembley Stadium on M
Marc Atkins/Getty Images

The weapons England now possess are frightening. If the Three Lions can get the best out of their youthful contingent, tournament glory could be on the horizon.

Sancho did not disappoint on his competitive debut for his country, and the Dortmund winger seems to be in line to become one of the greatest players in the world.

In a triple-threat attack with Kane and Sterling, Sancho looked every bit the perfect fit for Gareth Southgate's forward line.

A 4-3-3 has become a more familiar system in English football over the past two years, and the national team have the perfect pieces to play the formation.

B/R Football @brfootball

Jadon Sancho will wear the iconic number 7 in his competitive England debut 🔥 https://t.co/lLTWdaNFyn

Sancho set up the opener for Sterling, perfectly sliding the ball across the six-yard box for the Manchester City player to flick home.

The craft in the first goal underlined just how far England have come technically since Southgate took control.

ESPN FC's Michael Cox was impressed with the build-up play:

Michael Cox @Zonal_Marking

Kane loves an around-the-corner pass from between the lines. Sancho loves an assist. Sterling loves a far-post tap-in. Lovely stuff.

Sancho remained heavily involved as the hosts doubled their lead, with Sterling fouled in the box, allowing Kane to fire home a penalty.

Sterling completed his hat-trick in the second half with two neat finishes, and Southgate took the opportunity to bring on Callum Hudson-Adoi for the City attacker.

The Chelsea youngster provided balance with Sancho in wide areas, and the home team became a threat on the counter with a four-goal lead under their belt.

Hudson-Adoi provided a trademark run and shot with six minutes remaining, and a cruel rebound off Kalas was enough to give England a fifth.


What's Next

England play their second Euro 2020 match away to Montenegro in Group A on Monday. The Czech Republic are set to host Brazil in an international friendly on Tuesday.