window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'G-QV9HFVZD64'); Bellingham's Goal Leads England to Narrow Euro 2024 Win Over Serbia author - TELCOTELCO

Bellingham’s Goal Leads England to Narrow Euro 2024 Win Over Serbia

Jude Bellingham initiated England’s Euro 2024 campaign with a narrow 1-0 victory against Serbia in Gelsenkirchen, although the performance did little to alleviate concerns about their quest for a first European Championship title.

Bellingham, demonstrating his class, scored the only goal of the match with a header in the 13th minute, showcasing his individual brilliance as a Real Madrid midfielder. However, the collective performance of the team lagged behind the impressive standards set by Germany and Spain in their opening matches.

Expectations for England were high ahead of the tournament, despite having won just one of their previous five matches, including a 1-0 defeat to Iceland in their final warm-up game. With a full-strength squad, Gareth Southgate’s side started dominantly.

Serbia’s coach, Dragan Stojkovic, had praised Bellingham as a future Ballon d’Or winner before the game. The 20-year-old lived up to the hype, displaying his talent and outclassing the Serbian midfield.

“I feel like in every game I can make an impact. I can decide a game,” said Bellingham. “It’s a release for me to play football. It’s my favourite thing in the world, so I don’t feel any pressure when I go out there.”

Bellingham’s physical prowess was evident when he scored the game’s only goal. He initiated the move and then met Bukayo Saka’s deflected cross with a powerful header into the top corner.

Despite their dominance in the first half, England struggled to extend their lead. Kyle Walker had the best opportunity to double the advantage before halftime but missed the target after a strong run into the box.

The second half saw England sitting on their lead and facing several threats from Serbia. With Harry Maguire absent and Luke Shaw lacking match practice, the defense looked vulnerable. Marc Guehi, filling in for Maguire, was outpaced by Dusan Vlahovic, but Filip Mladenovic failed to capitalize on the cross.

Serbia had a few chances to equalize, including an optimistic penalty claim from Aleksandar Mitrovic and a missed opportunity by Luka Jovic from Dusan Tadic’s pass.

“Second half we didn’t keep it as well as I would have liked, but to get the win is very important,” said Southgate. “We had to suffer a bit. I think to defend the box the way we did was really good for us.”

Substitutes Conor Gallagher and Jarrod Bowen were brought on to regain control. Bowen made an immediate impact, delivering a cross that Harry Kane headed towards goal, only for Serbia’s goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic to make a stunning save, deflecting it onto the bar.

Kane’s night was frustrating, with his most significant contribution being a defensive header to clear a goal-bound shot from Veljko Birmancevic. Jordan Pickford was also called into action late in the game, saving a dipping drive from Vlahovic.

Despite the unconvincing performance, England held on to secure three points, though the display fell short of the strong statement expected from the pre-tournament favorites.

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