Sterling breaks major tournament hex in Wembley ‘back garden’ – –

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Sterling breaks major tournament hex in Wembley ‘back garden’ – –


London (AFP)

Raheem Sterling has said he knows he will break his duck for England in majors when he gets the chance at Wembley after scoring the game-winning goal in a 1-0 win over Croatia on Sunday .

Sterling grew up in the shadow of Wembley and justified Gareth Southgate’s decision to trust him by scoring the only goal just before the hour mark.

“I’ve always said if I play at Wembley in a major tournament, I score. I had to score in my garden and I was delighted to do so, ”he told the BBC.

Sterling’s strike saw England win their first game of a European Championship for the first time in 10 attempts and ended their streak of no-scoring in 12 appearances in the previous three tournaments. .

The 26-year-old’s place was threatened by Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford after a disappointing end to the season with Manchester City, but he has now scored 11 times in his last 15 international appearances.

“I’m so happy for Raheem, he had this spell in tournaments. I felt he was dangerous all day. From the start he looked like a threat, ”England manager Southgate said.

“His scoring record suggests we should have faith in him. He was motivated for it, but we’re going to need everyone, we’re going to need that depth, those offensive players, we’re going to need these guys throughout the tournament. “

Sterling has been sidelined for most of Manchester City’s run to their first Champions League final by the emergence of club and international teammate Phil Foden.

The pair started together as England took revenge for their 2018 World Cup semi-final loss to Croatia, and the two did enough to suggest they should retain their place against Scotland on Friday. .

“There are a lot of different reasons why I didn’t score with my club, but it doesn’t matter now, I’m here with my country now,” Sterling added.

“It’s been a long season for me, but I couldn’t wait to get here. “

After finally ending the wait to win an opener at the Euro, Southgate is keen to keep the momentum going.

“It’s a tough group with different types of challenges,” he added. “We’re delighted today, you want a good start because it takes some of the tension out of preparing for the next game, but we still need a few points to qualify. “

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