Days after receiving the MBE as part of Queen Elizabeth's birthday honours list for his remarkable work in campaigning against racism and setting up a foundation for deprived children off the pitch, Raheem Sterling is still paying his due to England on the pitch. The 26 years old winger scored the all-important goal against Czech Republic to secure the Three Lions' spot as winners of Group D, matching a record only managed in his side's history by the legendary Alan Shearer.
Ahead of Tuesday's encounter, many suggested that it would be wise for Gareth Southgate's men to finish in second position so as to avoid a tough draw for the Round of 16. A win against the Czechs will see them go up against the runners-up in Group F which could be either Germany, France, Portugal or Hungary, depending on the outcome of the final fixtures. However, they remained unfazed by the opponents they may come up against and the result at the end of their last group game proved to showed this.
3 - @England have topped their group at a European Championships for only the third time, also in 1996 and 2012. With just two goals scored, they are the lowest scoring side to ever finish top of a group at a EUROs tournament. Economical. #ENG #EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/jn3pxvy5kp— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 22, 2021
Having scored England's only goal at the tournament which came against Croatia before the stalemates with Scotland, Sterling ensured that his side had the bests of starts by heading home Jack Grealish's cross at the far post in the 12th minute against Czech Republic. Both sides got close to finding the back of the net afterwards but could not alter the scoreline as the hosts extended their unbeaten run at the European Championship.
The significant of Raheem Sterling's goal was that he is now the first player to score each of England's first two goals at a EUROs tournament after Alan Shearer in 1996. Even more remarkable is the fact that all four goals among the two players have come at Wembley.