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England held by Scotland in unimpressive Euro 2020 display

Journal.ie logo Journal.ie 18/06/2021 Press Association
Grant Hanley with a football ball on a field © PA

LACKLUSTRE ENGLAND WERE held to a goalless draw by Scotland as Steve Clarke’s well-drilled side gave their hopes of reaching the Euro 2020 knockout phase a much-needed shot in the arm.

International football’s oldest rivals locked horns for the 115th time in Friday’s eagerly-anticipated Group D clash at Wembley, where the crackling atmosphere belied the restricted attendance under the arch.

England knew victory against their fierce foes would seal progress to the round of 16 with a match to spare, but Scotland dug deep and gave Gareth Southgate’s side a few scares as they sealed a deserved 0-0 draw.

Having ended their 23-year absence from major tournaments with an underwhelming loss to the Czech Republic on Monday, Clarke’s men would have been in a perilous position had they lost to the Three Lions.

But the wounded Scots rallied well in London, where Stephen O’Donnell saw an excellent volley met by an equally impressive save by Jordan Pickford in a first half that started with John Stones rattling the woodwork.

England failed to muster a shot on target during the opening period and did not improve much after the break, with Southgate eventually substituting captain Harry Kane against a Scotland side who pushed until the end.

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Lyndon Dykes saw the visitors’ best effort of an impressive second half effort cleared off the line by Reece James on a dank evening that saw the Tartan Army celebrate at full-time as their England counterparts booed.

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