England stutter to a 1-1 draw with Slovenia in Euro 2024

Left: Jan Oblak, Right: Harry Kane . Source: X

The Three Lions had already qualified for the knockout stages of Euro 2024 before the match, but their attacking woes continued. Despite dominating possession (71%), they only managed three shots on target and struggled to break down a resolute Slovenian defence. This underwhelming display followed a similar 1-1 draw with Denmark, raising concerns about England’s ability to replicate their Euro 2020 runner-up finish.

For Slovenia, however, the draw was a historic achievement. The resolute defensive display earned them a crucial point, which secured them a third-place finish and a spot in the knockout stages for the first time ever. Their qualification came down to a tiebreaker based on their UEFA ranking, as they finished level on points, goal difference, goals scored, and disciplinary record with Denmark.

England’s Lacklustre Performance

The lack of attacking creativity was a major concern for English fans. With Harry Kane, Bukayo Saka, and Phil Foden in the starting lineup, they only mustered two shots on target, combined. This led to boos and jeers from sections of the crowd at the final whistle, with some even throwing empty drinks cups towards manager Gareth Southgate.

Southgate defended his team’s performance, acknowledging the frustration but urging fans to stay patient. “I understand it. I’m not going to back away from it,” he said. “The most important thing is the supporters stay with the team,” he said.

He pointed out the positive aspects, like keeping their composure and making improvements from the previous match. He also highlighted the benefit of avoiding the likes of France, Germany, Spain, and Portugal in the next round due to the favorable draw outcome.

Slovenia Celebrate Historic Qualification

For Slovenia, this was a night to remember. Their defensive resilience and tactical discipline were on display throughout the match. This achievement is a significant milestone for Slovenian football, and their fighting spirit will be key as they face a tougher opponent in the next round.

Looking Ahead

England will now face either the Netherlands or the third-placed team from Group E in the round of 16. Southgate knows the importance of a positive atmosphere within the team as they aim to progress deeper into the tournament. While the performance against Slovenia left much to be desired, England will be hoping to rediscover their scoring touch and silence their critics in the knockout stages.

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