Euro 2024: Bellingham Heads England To 1-0 Win Over Serbia

(MENAFN- IANS) Gelsenkirchen (Germany), June 17 (IANS) England began their Euro 2024 campaign with a narrow 1-0 win in Group C victory against Serbia at the Arena AufSchalke thanks to an early Jude Bellingham header.

England began promisingly, enjoying plenty of early possession against opponents who dropped everyone behind the ball at regular intervals – and within 13 minutes Serbia's game plan had been undone.

Kyle Walker delivered a precise pass to Bukayo Saka, whose cross from the right deflected off Strahinja Pavlović. The ball looped up perfectly for the oncoming Jude Bellingham, who headed it past Predrag Rajković.

Serbia threatened an immediate response as Aleksandar Mitrovic fired narrowly wide and Dusan Vlahovic had a shot blocked, but at the other end the Saka, who was dangerous throughout the first half, released Walker for a burst into the area that ended in a cross-shot across the face of goal, UEFA reports.

"The first half shows why we can score goals against any team, and the second half shows we can keep a clean sheet against any team. We had to suffer a bit but we kept a clean sheet and when you do that, you only need to score one goal to win the game. Overall, we'll be happy with that performance," Bellingham said.

Although England had looked in control, Serbia had shown enough to suggest they continued to carry a threat, and early in the second half substitute Filip Mladenovic was close to providing the finishing touch to Vlahovic's low-driven cross.

Trent Alexander-Arnold stung Rajkovic's palms as England replied in kind, although it then took a combination of Jordan Pickford and Kieran Trippier to prevent Mitrovic forcing in an equaliser.

Serbia's substitutes revived the team, and Dusan Tadic nearly set up Luka Jovic. However, England came closest to a second goal when Rajkovic tipped a Harry Kane header onto the crossbar. Pickford also pushed Vlahovic's shot over late on, but that was Serbia's closest attempt at an equaliser.



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