Zdenek Ondrasek admitted he is still coming to terms with the mind-blowing moment of scoring the winning goal against England in his first international appearance for the Czech Republic.

Debutant Ondrasek, 30, was the hero in Prague as the Czech Republic came from behind to boost their hopes of automatic qualification for Euro 2020 with a 2-1 victory on Friday.

The Czech's moved level with England atop Group A having played an extra game than their star-studded opponents with three rounds remaining.

Ondrasek replaced Patrik Schick after 65 minutes with the game level at 1-1 and the striker could barely believe he had scored the winner against the 2018 World Cup semi-finalists.

"I think it still doesn't feel right, I'm happy that I scored, but I don't feel it," he told UEFA.com.

 

GET IN!!! FULL-TIME!

Fantastic performance and even better result! 2-1 pic.twitter.com/FPybUblhcp

— Czech Football Team (@ceskarepre_eng) October 11, 2019

"It's so big I think my head will explode soon because I played my first game for my country, which I was waiting for so long, and I scored the winning goal against England. I'm so happy it's unbelievable.

"The other guys on the bench said 'score a goal, man'. So after an amazing pass from [Lukas] Masopust I hit it perfectly and I'm so happy It went in."

The Czech Republic finish their qualifying campaign in November with a home game against Kosovo before a trip to Bulgaria in the final round.

 

Gareth Southgate and Harry Kane agree England's loss to the Czech Republic was a "wake-up call" for the Three Lions.

England's perfect record in Euro 2020 qualifying ended in Prague on Friday despite Kane's early penalty putting Southgate's side ahead.

Defender Jakub Brabec equalised within five minutes then, in the closing stages at Eden Arena, substitute striker Zdenek Ondrasek hit the winner on his international debut.

England would have qualified for the finals had they won but are now joined on 12 points at the top of the group by the Czech Republic.

Qualification can still be sealed on Monday when England go to Bulgaria with Southgate demanding a response from the Three Lions after their first qualifying defeat for 10 years.

"In terms of a wake-up call, we have had a lot of plaudits but there is a lot of work to be done to be a really top team – tonight was clear evidence of that," Southgate told reporters.

"I always have to accept responsibility. We tried something to be more solid without the ball and that did not happen. We were poorer using the ball in the first half.

"In terms of the players, there are players who are not playing well for their clubs. That is the situation we are in. But we collectively have to accept the result and as manager I have to accept it.

"We have to respond in the right way, we have a couple of days to prepare and we have to reward our supporters with a better performance. There were not many positives. We accept defeat, and accept we have to be better than we were."

Kane hit his 24th international goal but the striker agreed with Southgate's assessment of England's below-par performance in Prague.

"I think it was down to us," Kane said to ITV. "It was a perfect start to an away game.

"We were sloppy with the ball, we didn't move it as quickly and we weren't pressing as we normally do.

"The second half was better, we had a couple of chances to put the game to bed and we didn't and unfortunately we gave one away at the end.

"Every away game in Europe is difficult. They had the crowd behind them, sometimes the pitch is not as easy to play, but that's no excuse. It's a bit of a wake-up call but we're in a good position.

"There's still stuff to work on for sure. We gave the ball away too cheaply and we'll have to go away and look at it. There's no need to panic and we'll go again on Monday."

Gareth Southgate accepted England were not good enough in a 2-1 Euro 2020 qualifier loss away to the Czech Republic on Friday.

England topped Group A ahead of the clash at Eden Arena having taken a maximum 12 points from four games and victory would have secured their place at the finals.

The Three Lions made a positive start when captain Harry Kane converted an early penalty, but the lead lasted less than five minutes as Jakub Brabec punished sloppy defending to score from a corner.

Jaroslav Silhavy's side moved level on points with England when Zdenek Ondrasek came off the bench to fire home the winner on his international debut.

England had scored at least four times each of their previous matches in the campaign to date but fell to a first qualifying loss since 2009, ending a run of 43-game run without defeat.

Southgate felt his side were poor at the back, while a lack of quality on the ball was also highlighted as a factor in the loss.

"We've had a lot of credit in the last two years but we didn't do enough to win," he told ITV Sport.

"The performance was not good enough, simple as that.

"We probably should have got a draw but the goal we conceded was typical of chances we conceded.

"I think there were things we can look back on, collectively not enough good performances. 

"We tried to change shape in the first half and it didn't work as well as we hoped, so we changed it and we started better in the second half and had good chances to win the game.

"But we conceded too many poor chances and conceded possession too often.

"We knew we'd have to be at full tilt to deal with the Czech Republic, but we should have been strong enough to deal with them."

Nations League semi-finalists England resume their qualifying campaign away to Bulgaria on Monday.

Zdenek Ondrasek came off the bench on his international debut to earn the Czech Republic a 2-1 win at home to England, denying the Three Lions qualification for Euro 2020.

Harry Kane's fifth-minute penalty - the England captain's 27th international goal - put Gareth Southgate's side in front early on Friday, yet the hosts hit back within five minutes.

Centre-back Jakub Brabec profited on slack set-piece marking to level the scores and, as the game appeared to be drifting towards a draw, the Czech Republic struck again.

With five minutes to go, Lukas Masopust raided down the right and pulled a low cross back for striker Ondrasek, who confidently beat Jordan Pickford to snatch all three points.

Raheem Sterling believes England are developing the type of ruthless temperament that can deliver long-awaited international glory at Euro 2020.

Three points against the Czech Republic in Prague on Friday will be enough for Gareth Southgate's men to book their place at next year's tournament, the final of which is to be held at Wembley.

England are top of Group A in qualifying and have won eight – excluding a penalty shoot-out triumph over Switzerland – of their 12 matches since finishing fourth at the World Cup in Russia, with one of two defeats coming against Netherlands at the Nations League Finals in June.

Despite that setback, Manchester City star Sterling thinks the Three Lions – now ranked fourth in the world – are building the psychological strength necessary to end a trophy drought dating back to 1966.

"It's something you think of all the time, especially coming so close in the World Cup and having such a good run as a team," Sterling said.

"I think we're developing and we're kind of getting that winning mentality.

"The Nations League was a bit disappointing, but we've got another chance now and I feel that a lot of the players don't just want to be involved in tournaments and finish in the quarter-finals and say that was a good run, or the semi-finals.

"A lot of the players, I'd say every single player, and the manager, all want to go into tournaments with the thought of winning it.

"It will be a difficult task but it's definitely something that we all dream of winning."

Sterling's superb form in a three-man attack containing captain Harry Kane has been at the forefront of England's strong run of results over the past 12 months.

Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho appear to be jostling for one place in the strongest possible starting XI, while Tammy Abraham's excellent start to the season and Callum Hudson-Odoi's return to fitness could give Southgate a selection quandary.

England scored nine goals in two games during the previous international break but City forward Sterling insisted the younger attackers in the squad must still prove themselves.

"They are still learning, but at the same time are producing as well, so, yeah, it's an exciting front three," he said.

"But, you know, we've got to do it in big games, big tournaments. That's when we'll be judged if we're a great front three or not."

Gareth Southgate admits English football needs to resolve its own problems with racism and understands why Bulgarian Football Union president Borislav Mihaylov was left so aggrieved by recent comments from the England camp.

England boss Southgate stated last month his squad will need to "prepare" for possible racial abuse ahead of Monday's Euro 2020 qualifier in Bulgaria, which will be played at a partially closed stadium following racist behaviour at June's home qualifiers with Czech Republic and Kosovo.

Tammy Abraham this week urged his team-mates to leave the field if they are subjected to racist abuse, comments which Mihaylov described as "offensive and derogatory".

Former goalkeeper Mihaylov has written to UEFA to express frustration at the remarks and wants the European governing body to sanction England if they walk off the pitch rather than abide by the three-step protocol already in place.

That system can see a referee stop a match, then take players off the pitch, and if the problem persists an abandonment can be declared.

Southgate insists he and his players did not intend to upset their Bulgarian counterparts with their remarks and acknowledges English football has its own racism issues to deal with.

"I can totally understand why the Bulgarian president feels as he does, because we have purely been responding honestly to questions we've been asked by you guys," Southgate told reporters at Thursday's news conference ahead of the qualifier with the Czech Republic.

"That will then be relayed, however it may be relayed in Bulgaria, and the way that that's pitched could appear provocative or appear that we're the people who are laying the subject on the table.

"If I was him, and I was only reading those quotes and not knowing the context of why the things were said and the responses were said, then I would feel probably as he does.

"We are not trying to create a situation at all, far from it. We're all hoping that over the next 72 hours, we're just talking about two football matches.

"I think both countries would have a strong desire for that and I have to say again, we don't look at other countries in a way that we don't shine a mirror on our own."

A National League match between Hartlepool United and Dover Athletic last month was stopped for more than 10 minutes amid accusations of racist abuse aimed at a visiting player.

Citing that incident, Southgate said: "What happened there a couple of weeks ago was probably worse than things I've seen or heard about in many other countries in the world.

"I think we have to be very careful in how we cover everything."

Should England's players ignore protocol and walk off the field in Sofia, the match could be awarded as a 3-0 victory to Bulgaria.

Raheem Sterling, who was racially abused during England's 5-1 win over Montenegro in March, echoes Southgate's views on having faith in UEFA getting things right.

"As a player, with the situation that happened in Montenegro, I don't think as a team we were quite prepared and knowing there was a protocol in place," Sterling said.

"As a team, we had a meeting and Gareth sat us down and explained there was a UEFA protocol. Now as players we have got to kind of give UEFA a chance to take that responsibility on board and deal with that situation.

"At this moment in time, we have to have full faith in UEFA."

Chris Silverwood has already identified England's areas for improvement in Test cricket in an aim to fulfil Ashley Giles' target of becoming "the most respected team in the world".

Silverwood has been appointed as England's new head coach, replacing Trevor Bayliss, who delivered limited-overs success, winning the Cricket World Cup at home earlier this year.

While director of cricket Giles insists England are "not moving all our focus back onto Test cricket", urging the need to find a "balance", there is a desire to improve results in the longest format.

Under Bayliss, Joe Root's side could only draw at home in the Ashes, while they suffered series defeats away to West Indies, New Zealand, Australia and India.

Silverwood, previously the bowling coach, told a news conference: "I think we'll become [the most respected team] by being successful and building on the white-ball success we've had.

"We talk about prioritising red-ball cricket, but let's not forget we do have two big white-ball tournaments coming up.

"But moving the Test team forward, we're going to have to look at batting for long periods of time, then continuing to build the bowling attack where we can be successful and consistent in winning away from home as well.

"Equally, I think it's in the way we play as well. It's the way you win that helps make you the most respected team in the world, so we'll keep driving the culture behind the scenes and make sure that, when we're on the park, we are role models to everybody else out there as well."

Pushed further on England's batting order, Silverwood acknowledged there is work to do on the basics.

England have struggled to identify an opening combination since Alastair Cook's retirement, with Jason Roy the latest to fail, although Rory Burns and Joe Denly hinted at a partnership towards the end of the home series against Australia.

"It certainly needs work moving forward," Silverwood said. "One of the things we'll be looking at is building a batting group that can bat for long periods of time, stack runs up and put pressure on.

"Yes, it sounds a little bit old fashioned, but I think we need to recognise that we need to look at that - and make sure we've got the right people in the right places to achieve that as well."

Eddie Jones joked the "typhoon gods" must be smiling on England after a tropical storm caused the cancellation of Saturday's Rugby World Cup clash with France.

England were set to play their final Pool C match in Yokohama on Saturday, but with Typhoon Hagibis set to make landfall, the game - along with New Zealand's meeting with Italy - has been called off. Japan's crunch Pool A contest with Scotland on Sunday is also under threat.

Although Jones is disappointed the France match will not go ahead, he said the extra time to prepare for a quarter-final against Australia or Wales has given his side a fantastic opportunity to be at their best in the knockout stage.

"Of course, everyone is disappointed not to play against France. We put a lot of work, tactical, physical and emotional work, into it," Jones told a news conference.

"We are disappointed, but the situation is a situation that we don't control. World Rugby has made a decision, so we have just got to get on with it now.

"We're not concerned at all, we're excited, absolutely excited. [It's a] great opportunity. Who would have thought we'd have had two relatively easy games, one tough game and then two weeks to prepare for a quarter-final, so someone is smiling on us.

"The typhoon gods, maybe."

Following the news of the cancellation, England decided to head back to their training base in Miyazaki, which is not in the typhoon's path.

"We found out officially this morning but there were rumours flying around last night and we were glued to our phones," Jones said.  

"We're excited about the prospect of having great preparation for the quarter-final now. We did get some leeway over the next three days and so we are off to Miyazaki for a short pre-season camp and then we are off to Oita.

"We love Miyazaki, we love Miyazaki beef. We are Miyazaki beef consumers. We'll do a bit of light training Friday, have a good hit out Saturday, have some beef Saturday night, a few beers, and get ready for the week ahead."

James Maddison has withdrawn from the England squad due to illness, the Football Association (FA) has confirmed.

Attacking midfielder Maddison has enjoyed a sparkling start to the 2019-20 season with Leicester City and was expected to make his England debut in the upcoming internationals against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

The 22-year-old's form has been so impressive that strong transfer links with Manchester United and other clubs have started to circulate.

But his wait for a first senior England cap must continue and he will return to Leicester.

Gareth Southgate has opted against calling up a replacement, as he did when Everton's Fabian Delph withdrew because of a hamstring injury on Monday, leaving him with a 23-man squad for the two Euro 2020 qualifiers.

England face the Czech Republic in Prague on Friday, before travelling to Sofia three days later.

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola insists he would not consider selling midfielder Phil Foden for €500m (£460m) because he is the only player at the could who cannot be sold "under any circumstances".

Foden, 19, has long been championed as a star of the future for City and England, having been around Guardiola's first-team squad for almost three years already.

He played named player of the tournament after England's Under-17 World Cup success in 2017 and has steadily become a more prominent player in City's senior squad, playing 26 matches across all competitions last season.

The midfielder has featured for just 10 minutes in the Premier League this term, sparking suggestions he is being held back by City.

But, with David Silva set to leave the club when his contract expires next year, Guardiola is convinced Foden will take over from the former Spain international.

"He [Foden] is the only player that can’t be sold under any circumstances — the only one. Not even for €500m," Guardiola says in the new book Pep's City: The Making of a Superteam, which was written by Spanish journalists Pol Ballus and Lu Martin and is being serialised by in The Sun.

"Phil's going nowhere — Phil is City. We won't be signing anyone else for that position. When David Silva leaves, we know exactly who our new magician will be.

"He's grown up with us. He's one of us and he's going to be brilliant — one of the Premier League's best. One thing is clear, Foden has a place in City's first-team.

"I'd be interested to see if a different manager would have given him his chance to develop or loan him out.

"I don't like leaving him out of certain games, but I must think of the whole squad. Phil understands that."

England's Rugby World Cup showdown against France and New Zealand's clash with Italy have been cancelled due to the pending threat of Typhoon Hagibis.

World Rugby announced the two pool fixtures scheduled for Saturday will not take place on "safety grounds" as the typhoon bears down on Japan, but Ireland's game against Samoa in Fukuoka is to be played.

Australia's Pool D finale against Georgia in Shizuoka will also go ahead, while Sunday's fixtures – including Japan's meeting with Scotland – are still being reviewed.

Thursday's statement read: "Based on the latest detailed information from the tournament's independent weather experts, Hagibis is predicted to be the biggest typhoon of the 2019 season and is highly likely to cause considerable disruption in the Tokyo, Yokohama and City of Toyota areas throughout Saturday, including likely public transport shutdown or disruption."

England were set to meet France in their final Pool C game in Yokohama, where top spot was up for grabs at International Stadium Yokohama.

The cancellation – resulting in a 0-0 draw and two points apiece – sees England top the group, meaning Eddie Jones' side are likely to face Australia in the quarter-finals.

France finish runners-up in Pool C, with a last-eight battle against Wales awaiting, should the latter top Pool D ahead of the Wallabies by beating Uruguay.

Organisers also scrapped the Pool B meeting between world champions the All Blacks and Italy in Toyota – located in central Japan.

New Zealand have already qualified for the knockout round as pool winners ahead of South Africa and will face the runner-up in Pool A, with Ireland currently occupying second place.

World Rugby chief operating officer and tournament director Alan Gilpin told the media: "This is a complex and dynamic situation which we have been monitoring extremely closely with the assistance of our weather information experts. We are now in a position to accurately predict the likely impact of Typhoon Hagibis on Rugby World Cup fixtures this weekend.

"While making every possible effort to put in place a contingency plan that would enable all of Saturday's matches to be played, it would be grossly irresponsible to leave teams, fans, volunteers and other tournament personnel exposed during what is predicted to be a severe typhoon.

"As a result, we have taken the decision to cancel some matches in order to ensure the safety of all involved. It is the right thing to do, and comes with the support of all stakeholders, including the teams.

"We fully appreciate that England, France, New Zealand and Italy fans will be disappointed, but we trust they will appreciate that their safety must come first. They will be entitled to a full refund on their match tickets.

"Our message for all fans in Japan for Rugby World Cup is to heed all official advice, stay indoors throughout Saturday and do not attempt to travel on the day."

Typhoon Hagibis is set to wreak havoc in Japan this weekend and Scotland could be the biggest losers at the Rugby World Cup if their crunch match against the hosts is cancelled.

World Rugby will stage a press conference at 12pm in Tokyo on Thursday to announce how the extreme weather will affect key matches between Scotland and Japan on Sunday and England versus France on Saturday.

It has been reported that a contest in which top spot in Pool C is up for grabs between England and France will not go ahead at International Stadium Yokohama.

Japan and Scotland are due to do battle at the same venue just over 24 hours later with qualification for the quarter-finals on the line, but it remains to be seen whether the game will be moved or scrapped.

We look at how cancellations of those fixtures – which would result in a score draw and two points apiece – could leave the final standings and who those that qualify could face in the last eight.

ENGLAND V FRANCE

Eddie Jones' England and Les Bleus are already guaranteed a place in the quarter-finals but there would still be plenty at stake in 'Le Crunch'.

England are top with maximum points and as it stands they will face Australia in their first knockout match of the tournament. 

If the match does not go ahead they are likely to take on the Wallabies, with France coming up against Wales. 

Six Nations champions Wales lead Pool D and should be far too good for Uruguay in their contest on Sunday.

 

JAPAN V SCOTLAND

Three wins out of three have put Japan top of Pool A with a golden opportunity to reach the quarter-finals for the first time.

Scotland remained in the hunt to qualify with a resounding 61-0 drubbing of Russia on Wednesday and would progress by seeing off Japan, even without a bonus-point win provided their margin of victory is more than seven points and the hosts fail to score four tries or more.

Second-placed Ireland will be expected to advance as they take on Samoa in their last pool match.

A cancellation would most likely eliminate Scotland unless Ireland fail to pick up any points against Samoa on Saturday.

World Rugby is set to announce whether it will move two key weekend matches at the Rugby World Cup because of the threat posed by Typhoon Hagibis.

There are concerns the showdown between England and France, which will decide who tops Pool C, will not be able to take place in Yokohama due to the weather threat.

A crunch Pool A contest between hosts Japan and Scotland on Sunday - also in Yokohama - is also under threat with strong winds and heavy rain on the way.

It has been reported that matches may be moved or even cancelled, and the governing body announced it will hold a news conference in Tokyo at 12.00pm local time on Thursday to announce how the schedule may be affected.

World Rugby this week said it has been monitoring the typhoon developing off the south coast of Japan and has a "robust "contingency plan in place should it have an impact on any matches.

England defence coach John Mitchell said: "One thing we really pride ourselves in all our preparation is to be adaptable and flexible for anything that may throw us off.

"At the end of the day we are looking forward to playing France wherever that may be. It is where our preparation is totally focused and at the end of the day we don't let that noise enter our preparation.

"It is not something we decide, that is World Rugby’s decision."

Rebekah Vardy has denied leaking private Instagram stories from Coleen Rooney to a national newspaper, in a startling case of claim and counter-claim between the wives of two former England strikers.

Rooney, who is married to England's record scorer Wayne Rooney, posted a tweet on Wednesday in which she revealed how she came to suspect Vardy, who denies any wrongdoing.

In the message, she said Vardy – wife of Leicester City's Jamie Vardy – held the only account that had access to her Instagram stories.

Rooney said she had removed access to all users except Rebekah Vardy, and alleged a series of "false" stories that she posted on there found their way to UK tabloid The Sun.

Rebekah Vardy responded by tweeting a lengthy message to Coleen Rooney, who she claimed to have discussed the matter with on the phone, to reject the claim.

"This has been a burden in my life for a few years now and finally I have got to the bottom of it……" Coleen Rooney tweeted, along with an image of a longer statement.

Coleen Rooney's statement read: "For a few years now, someone who I trusted to follow me on my personal Instagram account has been consistently informing The SUN newspaper of my private posts and stories.

"There has been so much information given to them about me, my friends and my family – all without my permission or knowledge.

"After a long time of trying to figure out who it could be, for various reasons, I had a suspicion.

"To try and prove this I came up with an idea. I blocked everyone from viewing my Instagram stories except ONE account. (Those on my private account must have been wondering why I haven't had stories on there for a while.)

"Over the past five months I have posted a series of false stories to see if they made their way into the Sun newspaper. And you know what, they did! The story about gender selection in Mexico, the story about returning to TV and then the latest story about the basement flooding in my new house.

"It's been tough keeping it to myself and not making any comment at all, especially when the stories have been leaked, however I had to. Now I know for certain which account/individual it's come from.

"I have saved and screenshotted all the original stories which clearly show just one person has viewed them.

"It's………. Rebekah Vardy's account."

In a tweeted reply, Rebekah Vardy said she had never passed on such information – despite claiming to have been approached to do so by journalists.

She blamed "various people having access to my insta" and was "disgusted" to have to deny involvement at a time when she was "heavily pregnant".

"As I have just said to you on the phone, I wish you had called me if you thought this," Rebekah Vardy's statement read.

"I never speak to anyone about you as various journalists who have asked me to over the years can vouch for.

"If you thought this was happening you could have told me & I could have changed my passwords to see if it stopped.

"Over the years various people have had access to my insta and just this week I found I was following people I didn't know and have never followed myself.

"I'm not being funny but I don't need the money, what would I gain from selling stories on you?

"I liked you a lot Coleen & I'm upset you have chosen to do this, especially when I'm heavily pregnant. I'm disgusted that I'm even having to deny this.

"You should have called me the first time this happened."

Rooney, who is also Manchester United's record goalscorer, will return to English football following his time with MLS team DC United when he joins Championship club Derby County in January.

Vardy has scored five Premier League goals for Leicester this season, with Brendan Rodgers' men riding high in fourth position.

Raheem Sterling's role as the leader of England's young generation has won praise from former Liverpool forward Emile Heskey.

Sterling and England are back in action against the Czech Republic on Friday, with the formality of qualification for Euro 2020 on course to be confirmed during the current international break.

Gareth Southgate's side boast a 100 per cent record in Group A – a Sterling hat-trick against this week's opponents having set the wheels in motion at Wembley in March.

The Manchester City star has finally brought his prolific club form to the international arena, with six goals in the campaign so far.

Speaking to Omnisport about the leading lights in England's current crop of youngsters, Heskey noted Sterling remains only 24 – something his prominent stance against racism and discrimination off the field belies.

"Sterling is still young, isn't he? Even though he's played for so long he's still young," he said.

"The role that he's actually playing now, as a mentor for some of the kids, is amazing. The strides that he's taken within his game is amazing.

"Now he's on social media using that platform to help with the racism, with the bullying and it's amazing.

"Someone who has taken on so much as a young kid, I don't think I could have taken on that much as a young kid.

"What is he, 24 now? I don't think I could have taken on that much at 24. It's too much for me but he seems to have taken everything in stride, and given more."

Heskey represented England at four major tournaments between 2000 and 2010 and, with the likes of Jadon Sancho revelling alongside Sterling and captain Harry Kane up front, he feels Southgate's side might be able to go further than the so-called "golden generation" he was a part of alongside David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Michael Owen.

"I would like to think England could win the Euros," he added. "They've got flair, they've got goals, defensively they just need to be a little bit more sound and sterner.

"But they've got the ability to go all the way."

Page 1 of 49
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.