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England's 96th different opposition

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1055 vs. Iceland
next match (four days)
1057 vs. Denmark

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1059 vs. Slovakia

1060 vs. Switzerland

1061 vs. Netherlands

1062 vs. Spain

  Sunday, 16 June 2024
Fußball-Europameisterschaft 2024 First Phase Group C match two

Serbia 0 England 1 [0-1]
Veltins-Arena, Erle, Gelsenkirchen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Kick-off (CEST): 9.01pm 8.01pm BST
Attendance: 48,953
96 minutes 47:16 & 49:01 Harry Kane won the toss
Bukayo Saka kicks off
  [0-1] Jude Bellingham header 13 12:11
Bakayo Saka: FORTUNATE
charges into the box to meet a deflected Saka from the right and the midfielder dives to beats Živković to the ball
Player lost since last match
Tommy Banks (13 June 2024) 94

[0-1] Harry Kane header onto bar 76:19
Nemanja Gudelj 39 38:32  
Dušan Tadić 75 74:25
Dragan Stojković 83
  Commentator: Guy Mowbray with Alan Shearer
"SMACKER!" MirrorSport
Officials from Italy Serbia Squad Type England Squad
Referee (sky blue)
Daniel Orsato
48 (23 November 1975), Montecchio Maggiore, FIFA-listed 2010
6 Goal Attempts 5
1 Attempts on Target 3
Assistant Referees 0 Hit Bar/Post 1
Ciro Carbone
45 (24 July 1978)
Alessandro Giallatini
48 (4 July 1975), Roma
2 Corner Kicks Won 1
Fourth official
Ivan Kružliak
40 (24 March 1984), Bratislava, Slovakia, FIFA-listed 2011.
0 Offside Calls Against 1
Video Assistant Officials           19 Fouls Conceded 8
Massimiliano Irrati 44 (27 June 1979), Pirenze
Paolo Valeri & Câtâlin Popa Romania
47% Possession 53%
Serbia Team
 Rank FIFA (4th April 2024) 33rd
EFO ranking n/a
ELO rating 21st to 24th
Colours made by Puma - dark cherry red crew-necked jerseys with blue cuffs and white stripe across lower back, red shorts with blue trim, red socks.
Captain Aleksandar Mitrović Manager Dragan Stojković, 59 (3 March 1965), appointed 3 March 2021.
83rd min. for remonstrating with the fourth official
Dušan Tadić 60:30 53rd match, W 21 - D 7 - L 11 - F x - A x.
Serbia Lineup
1 Rajković, Predrag 28
229 days
31 October 1995 G RCD Mallorca, Spain 33 0
13 Veljković, Miloš 28
264 days
26 September 1995
in Basel, Switzerland
RD SV Werder Bremen von 1899, German 31 1
4 Milenković, Nikola 26
248 days
12 October 1997 CD AC Fiorentina, Italy 54 3
2 Pavlović, Strahinja 22
23 days
24 May 2001 LD Red Bull Salzburg, Austria 36 4
14 Živković, Andrija, off 74th min. 27
341 days
11 July 1996 RWB Panthessaloníkios AÓK, Greece 47 1
20 Milinković-Savić, Sergej 29
110 days
27 February 1995
in Lleida, Spain
RM Al Hilal SFC, Saudi Arabia 52 9
6 Gudelj, Nemanja, off half-time 32
213 days
16 November 1991 CM Sevilla FC, Spain 63 1
39th min. after he prevented Bellingham running through the centre.
22 Lukić, Saša, off 61st min. 27
308 days
13 August 1996 LM Fulham FC, England 47 2
11 Kostić, Filip, injured off 42nd min. (41:44) 31
228 days
1 November 1992 LWB Juventus FC, Italy 64 3
7 Vlahović, Dušan 24
140 days
28 January 2000 RF Juventus FC, Italy 28 13
9 Mitrović, Aleksandar, off 61st min. 29
274 days
16 September 1994 LF Al Hilal FC, Saudi Arabia 92 58
Serbia Substitutes
scoreline: Serbia 0 England 1
25 Mladenović, Filip, on 43rd min. (42:57) for Kostić 32
306 days
15 August 1991 LWB Panathinaïkós AÓ, Greece 32 1
17 Ilić, Ivan, on half-time for Gudelj 23
91 days
17 March 2001 CM FC Torino, Italy 17 0
10 Tadić, Dušan, on 61st min. (60:32) for Lukić 35
209 days
20 November 1988 RAM
Fenerbaçhe SK, Turkey
76th min. for a foul on Phil Foden as he was running down the touchline.
8 Jović, Luka, on 61st min. (60:38) for Mitrović 26
176 days
23 December 1997 LF AC Milan, Italy 36 10
26 Birmančević, Veljko, on 74th min. (73:39) for Živković 26
103 days
5 March 1998  RM AC Sparta Praha, Czech Republic 6 0
result: Serbia 0 England 1
unused substitutes: 3-Nemanja Stojić, 5-Nemanja Maksimović, 12-Đorđe Petrović, 15-Srđan Babić, 16-Srdjan Mijailović, 18-Petar Ratkov, 19-Lazar Samardzić, 21-Mijat Gačinović, 23-Vanja Milinković-Savić, 24-Uroš Spajić.
team notes: Filip Kostić instructed the ball to be played out as he went to ground (40:02). His goalkeeper obliged (40:06). Received treatment until he walked off the pitch (41:44) and his replacement was readied. He appears to have pulled a muscle when he crossed the ball (37:34) from the left handside.
post-match notes: Three days after this match, the Serbian FA were fined €4,500 after objects were thrown onto the pitch by the Serbian supporters, and another €10,000 after the Kosovo FA had complained at the display of a provacative message. UEFA confirmed that they would also be investigating the racist chanting towards England's BME players.
Remarkably, a day later, Serbia threatened to pull out of the European Championship Finals over provocative chanting by the Croatia and Albania supporters the day previously.
manager Dragan Stojković has previously represented Yugoslavia, for whom he was an unused substitute against England in November 1986. However, he did play in the follow-up match a year later in that seasons European Championship qualifying campaign. He also started in the December 1989 friendly.
3-5-2 Rajković -
Veljković, Milenković, Pavlović -
(Birmančević), S.Milinković-Savić, Gudelj (Ilić), Lukić (Tadić), Kostić (Mladenović) -
Vlahović, Mitrović
Averages (Starting XI): Age 28 years 49 days Appearances/Goals 49.7 8.6
England Team
Rank FIFA (4th April 2024) 4th
EFO ranking Group Two
ELO rating 9th to 7th
Colours The Nike 2024 home uniform - White shadow pinstriped jerseys with navy blue v-necked polo-collars/underarm side panel and white/navy blue/maroon trimmed cuffs, white shorts with navy blue side stripe/hem, white socks with navy blue trim.
Captain Harry Kane Manager Gareth Southgate, 53 (3 September 1970), appointed caretaker manager on 27 September 2016, appointed as permanent manager on 30 November 2016. 
⁵⁴ most goals as captain 
65th of 70, W 40 - D 13 - L 12 - F 149 - A 52.  P 96th of 101, W 59 - D 21 - L 16 - F 206 - A 66. 
England Lineup
  four changes on the previous match league position (FINAL POSITIONS)  
1 Pickford, Jordan L. 30
101 days
7 March 1994 G Everton FC (PL 15th) 62 45ᵍᵃ
2 Walker, Kyle A. 34
19 days
28 May 1990 RB Manchester City FC (PL CHAMPIONS) 84 1
5 Stones, John 30
19 days
28 May 1994 RCD Manchester City FC (PL CHAMPIONS) 73 3
6 Guéhi, A.K. Marc-Israel 23
339 days
13 July 2000
in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
LCD Crystal Palace FC (PL 10th) 12 0
12 Trippier, Kieran J. 33
271 days
19 September 1990 LB Newcastle United FC (PL 7th) 49 1
8 Alexander-Arnold, Trent J., off 69th min. 25
253 days
7 October 1998 RDM Liverpool FC (PL 3rd) 26 3
4 Rice, Declan 25
154 days
14 January 1999 LDM Arsenal FC (PL RU) 52 3
7 Saka, Bukayo A.T., off 76th min. 22
285 days
5 September 2001 RAM Arsenal FC (PL RU) 34 11
Bellingham, Jude V.W., off 86th min. 20
353 days
29 June 2003 CAM Real Madrid CF, Spain (LL CHAMPIONS) 30 4
134th player to reach the 30-app milestone second youngest
11 Foden, Philip W. 24
19 days
28 May 2000 LAM Manchester City FC (PL CHAMPIONS) 35 4
9 Kane, Harry E. 30
324 days
28 July 1993 CF FC Bayern München, Germany (BL RU) 92 63
England Substitutes
scoreline: Serbia 0 England 1
16 Gallagher, Conor J., on 69th min. (68:45) for Alexander-Arnold 24
131 days
6 February 2000 RDM Chelsea FC (PL 6th) 14 6 0
20 Bowen, Jarrod, on 76th min. (75:18) for Saka 27
180 days
20 December 1996 RAM West Ham United FC (PL 9th) 9 5 0
26 Mainoo, Kobbie B., on 86th min. (85:46) for Bellingham 19
54 days
19 April 2005 CAM Manchester United FC (PL 8th) 4 2 0
result: Serbia 0 England 1
unused substitutes: 3-Luke Shaw, 13-Aaron Ramsdale, 14-Ezri Konsa, 15-Lewis Dunk, 17-Ivan Toney, 18-Anthony Gordon, 19-Ollie Watkins, 21-Eberechi Eze, 22-Joe Gomez, 23-Dean Henderson, 24-Cole Palmer, 25-Adam Wharton.
youth notes: England and Serbia have met just a few times in youth level matches featuring the participating players.
Jordan Pickford started in goal against Serbia in the Under-17 Finals in May 2011.
Harry Kane was a starter through the under-19 Finals in July 2012, that included a Serbian victory.
stadium notes: England return to the Gelsenkirchen venue for the first time since the 2006 World Cup Finals exit against Portugal.
records notes: Harry Kane already holds the record of most competitive appearances (76) and competitive goals (55), most EC goals (27), most ECF captaincies (8). Only has four ECF goals - three behind Shearer).
The one record he does break tonight...it is his 23rd Finals match, now one clear of Ashley Cole and Raheem Sterling.
He is also the first ever England captain to take the armband at two European Championship Finals tournaments.
Both Jordan Pickford and John Stones are making their twentieth appearances, the eighth/ninth players to achieve the fete.
manager notes: Southgate's eighth ECF match, equal with Hodgson - still unbeaten.
Already a record twentieth Finals match - five more than Bobby Robson.
Already holds the record for competitive matches managed...73rd (thirty more than Robson).
goalscoring records: 52 European Championship Finals goals scored.
4-2-3-1 Pickford -
Walker, Stones, Guéhi, Trippier
(Gallagher), Rice -
(Bowen), Bellingham (Mainoo), Foden -
Averages (Starting XI): Age 27 years 163 days Appearances/Goals 49.9 8.4
    Match Report by Mike Payne

At last, after what seems quite a long wait, England's Euro competition finally gets underway.  Did it go the way most of us thought it would?  Well no, not quite, mainly because Serbia were a tough nut to crack, and by tough, I mean tough.  But the good news is we managed to score the only goal of the game and so we are on our way.

At the start there was some very good probing play by England, stretching the Serbians using the wide men well and although not creating too much initially, the chances did eventually start to arrive.  After five minutes a long ball out to Kieran Trippier was nodded back into the path of Phil Foden, but all he could manage was a scuffed left-footer wide of the far post.  England had a great deal of possession in that opening 10 or 12 minutes but there were no other chances to report.  Meanwhile Serbia were adjusting themselves to the England system but making little attacking headway.

Then suddenly, right out of the blue really, England took the lead with a fine goal.  Kyle Walker fed Bukayo Saka who danced round his marker wide on the right before sending over a terrific cross into the danger area.  It was a very inviting cross and who should come from nowhere to power home an unstoppable header was England's star man, Jude Bellingham.  The England fans were in raptures and goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic never had a prayer with that one!  By the way, you will get used to all the 'itches' in this report because 15 of the 16 Serbian players used, had names ending in 'ic'.

On 19 minutes Trent Alexander-Arnold fired a shot wide, and as we all hoped and expected a second goal, alarm bells sounded as the same player made a sloppy error in defence and the ball ran for Aleksander Mitrovic, a regular goalscorer in the English Premier League over the years, to fire in a dangerous shot.  It beat Jordan Pickford but went wide of the goal.  Two minutes later a Serbian free-kick was deflected wide by Declan Rice, but then a fine break by England so nearly made it 2-0.  Saka sent Walker clear on the right and the full-back used his pace to bear down on goal.  He seemed certain to score, but instead his weak shot went across goal and wide of the far post.  That was a golden chance and Walker should have at least hit the target.

England continued to have the better of things, and some of the fierce challenges by the Serbians on Bellingham and Saka especially, showed how rattled they were.  A second goal was crucial at this stage of the match.  A pass from Bellingham sent Saka clear of his marker, but unfortunately the cross was behind Foden who had moved towards the near post.  Another chance was lost and just before the interval a cross from the Serbian winger was bundled behind for a corner by John Stones.  The half ended with England having had the bulk of possession, created most of the best chances, but still the score was just the single goal ahead.  All to play for after the break.

It was soon noticeable after the restart that Serbia came out determined to assert themselves on the game.  As a result, the tackles grew fiercer, with Foden, Saka and Bellingham all being targeted for rough treatment.  Worryingly, the England players were finding it hard to respond and get forward as Serbia increased the pressure.  Stones and especially young Marc Guehi, remained calm though, and well backed up by the two full-backs.  On 56 minutes Alexander-Arnold tried a shot from range and the goalkeeper elected to punch clear a shot straight at him, and then Bellingham went down under a challenge just as he was about to shoot.  At the other end there was a big scramble in the England box as Serbia attacked down the left, but a combination of Pickford and Guehi saw off the danger.

There was another scare for England as substitute Dusan Tadic set up Luka Jovic, another sub, but his first touch was missing and England cleared.  Conor Gallagher was sent on to replace Alexander-Arnold, and Pickford had to punch clear from another Serbian attack.  At this point of the match it was a hard watch for us England fans, and it was worrying to see how England seemed to be settling for what they had.  But then, on 75 minutes, Jarrod Bowen came on for the battered Saka, and so nearly made a goal with his first touch.  An exchange of passes and a fine cross to the far post was met by the head of Harry Kane, who thus far had been kept very subdued.  The header was goalbound, but a fabulous save by Raykovic tipped the ball onto the crossbar and the defence then cleared the ball away.  That would have sealed the result, but Serbia refused to give up and they again dominated the last 15 or so minutes.

On 82 minutes it was Pickford's turn to make a vital save, by tipping over the bar a good shot by Dusan Vlahovic.  Ironically, from the corner, it was Kane who headed the ball off the line when another goal effort was put in.  Four added minutes had to be endured before the welcome sound of the referee's final whistle brought huge sighs of relief from the visiting England supporters….and me!

There was some good and some not so good things about England's performance on the night.  Guehi was outstanding, Rice did his job and Bellingham was the man of the moment.  Listening to all the pundits and after-match comments, not one person mentioned how out-muscled we were in that second-half, and that for me is a worry. 

Lots to do before we take on Denmark in the next instalment.  Can't wait!

Source Notes

BBC Sport
Serbia FA
Mike Payne - football historian and contributor