Here's England's opening goal
A Luka Modric-inspired Croatia joined the Czech Republic and England in the knockout stages of Euro 2020 on Tuesday. A 3-1 win at Hampden Park for Croatia ended Scotland's involvement in the tournament in dispiriting fashion. England, meanwhile, took care of the Czechs, 1-0, in London.
Croatia leapfrogged the Czechs in the Group D standing by virtue of goals scored as England claimed top spot in the group, Raheem Sterling netting the winner in the first half. Gareth Southgate's side have set themselves on course for a clash with the runners up of Group F, potentially Germany, at Wembley Stadium next week.
Here are takeaways from Tuesday's results.
England get back to winning ways
If this was not quite a vintage display by England, but there were signs of progress and welcome strength in depth in a 1-0 victory over the Czech Republic.
An England side that included four changes from the team that had labored to a goalless draw against Scotland – most notably Jack Grealish replacing the isolating Mason Mount and Bukayo Saka coming in for suspension risk Phil Foden – started far more effectively than they had in Friday night with Gareth Southgate's two new forwards sparkling down the flanks.
England's goal began with Saka's spin and sprint away from Tomas Soucek before he advanced from his own defensive third to the Czech danger area. Smart interplay with Kalvin Phillips advanced the hosts into the area and whilst the move looked to be floundering after a heavy cross Grealish judged his delivery to perfection. Tomas Vaclik could not quite reach the looping delivery but Sterling could, heading home his and England's second goal of the tournament.
He might have had a hat trick in the first half. Before his goal a delicate clip over the Czech goalkeeper died agonizingly on the far post. In the 25th minute Harry Kane opted not to square to Sterling – who may have been offside – but his curling effort was denied by the steel wrist of Vaclik.
The returning Harry Maguire also offered England ball progression from deep that they had lacked against Scotland without costing them the defensive stability that Tyrone Mings had offered alongside John Stones. He looks well-placed to start for the Three Lions going into the knockout stages, where he may be joined by Jordan Henderson, who managed his first 45 minutes of the tournament as a half time substitute for Declan Rice.
An equalizer for the Czechs would have taken them to the top of Group D yet they applied themselves to that task with little if any intensity, this final group stage game petering out as though it were a friendly match instead, all the more so as Southgate blooded fringe players such as Jude Bellingham and Jadon Sancho. Henderson thought he had ended his international goal drought in his 61st cap but a scrambled late finish was denied for offside.
Modric guides Croatia beyond Scots
Meanwhile north of the border it was Modric who terminated to Scotland's hopes of qualification. The veteran Real Madrid playmaker dominated the midfield as Steve Clarke's side were ground down in front of a home crowd who had hoped for much more than just a first tournament goal in 23 years.
A draw guaranteed both sides would depart Euro 2020 at the group stage and as such there was impressive abandon to the pursuit of victory. Che Adams had two tempting opportunities early on, first seeing a John McGinn cross evade him at the far post before his long-range effort snapped wide of Dominik Livakovic's far post.
Still it was Croatia who were dominating the game, their midfield easing the ball around flailing blue shirts on their way to goal. Their lead arrived in the 17th minute, Ivan Perisic heading down a cross into the path of Nikola Vlasic, whose low drive from close range squeezed through a scrum of Scottish bodies and past David Marshall.
However there was industry and energy to Scotland's pursuit of parity, one which was rewarded just before the halftime interval when Callum McGregor's low drive from the edge of the box beat a diving Livakovic. It was an historic goal for the Tartan Army, one doubtless toasted by former Borussia Dortmund midfielder Craig Burley; the man who scored in a 1-1 draw against Norway on June 16, 1998 is no longer the last player to have scored at an international tournament for the Scots.
Scotland's endeavor and quality continued into the second half where McGinn went close and the hosts finally looked to be establishing themselves in Croatian territory. It was all the more cruel that one of the home team's best spells ended with Modric taking a dagger to Hampden hearts, the home crowd once more having one of the tournament's best goals inflicted upon them to follow Patrik Schick's glorious lob from the halfway line in the opening game.
Modric did not have the same range but this was the sweetest of hits, a caress with the outside of his right boot that bent into Marshall's far post. They don't often hit them like that in the Championship.
On this occasion Croatia showed no inclination for letting their lead slip. Instead they added the goal that took them ahead of the Czech Republic and into second, Perisic reaching Modric's corner at the near post and glancing it across goal, the thud against the post deadening Hampden.