Bulgaria head coach Krasimir Balakov claimed not to have heard racist chanting during his team's 6-0 loss to England in Sofia and accused the travelling supporters of "unacceptable" behaviour.

Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling each hit braces as Gareth Southgate's men bounced back from defeat to the Czech Republic in style, bringing qualification for Euro 2020 within touching distance.

But the contest was sullied by abuse directed towards some of the travelling players, which was reported to the match officials and resulted in two delays to the action before half-time.

Before the match, Balakov accused England of having a bigger problem with racism in football than his own country, and he once again sought to share the blame after the widely condemned scenes that stained Monday's match.

"I personally did not hear the chanting that you are most probably referring to. I saw that the referee stopped the game," he told ITV.

"But I also have to say that the unacceptable behaviour was not only on behalf of the Bulgaria fans but also the English fans, who were whistling and shouting during the Bulgarian national anthem.

"During the second half they used words against our fans, which I find unacceptable."

Balakov said he felt an increased focus upon the potential of racist incidents before the game made them more likely, while he called for the abuse to be "proven" despite audible monkey chants during the contest and the spectacle of some Bulgaria fans being ejected.

"We've had this problem ever since England were about to come to Bulgaria. All I've heard for three weeks is people talking about anything else but football," said Balakov.

"I don't think this was the proper manner to prepare and to play a football game. For three weeks, everyone was talking about one thing.

"If this turns out to be true, we are truly sorry and we as the Bulgarian national team and the Bulgarian Football Union are working very hard.

"Nobody wants to see this but let me tell you that this really has not happened in our games up until now. This happened now in the England game.

"If something can be proven then we are sorry but we cannot speak on behalf of some fans here."

Marcus Rashford opened the scoring for England and tweeted after the match to praise Bulgaria captain Ivelin Popov for remonstrating with supporters at half-time.

Popov's move was widely interpreted as a call for discriminatory chants to stop but Balakov told a post-match news conference he felt the Rostov midfielder was responding to complaints over a poor performance.

"I have no idea about this. If our captain spoke to the fans it is probably because they were unhappy about the way in which the team were performing," he added.

"The whole topic in the build-up to the game – the fans are emotional. You want me to say this and I have to say this, if something happened I'm sure it really was a small group of people who really were out of their minds because this is unacceptable… if it happened, of course."

Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling were among the England players to react on Twitter after racist chanting marred their 6-0 win over Bulgaria in Sofia.

Play was temporarily halted twice during the first half of Monday's Euro 2020 qualifier at the Vasil Levski National Stadium after visiting players were subjected to racist abuse.

An announcement over the public address system was made during the first stoppage, while the second saw a section of home fans ejected from the venue.

Gareth Southgate's side opted to return to the field following discussions in their changing room at half-time, while Bulgaria captain Ivelin Popov seen talking with some Bulgaria supporters during the break.

"Not an easy situation to play in and not one which should be happening in 2019. Proud we rose above it to take three points but this needs stamping out," Rashford wrote on social media, along with a picture of him celebrating scoring the opening goal.

The Manchester United forward also thanked the travelling support as well as Popov, insisting his actions should not go unnoticed.

"Thankful to the brilliant England support. You got behind us in the most meaningful way possible tonight and we are all very grateful. Have a safe journey home and take care," Rashford tweeted, to which he replied: "Also been told what the Bulgaria captain did at half-time. To stand alone and do the right thing takes courage and acts like that shouldn’t go unnoticed. #NoToRacism"

Club colleague Harry Maguire described the fan behaviour as "disgraceful" - and insisted action must be taken to make sure it does not happen again.

"The best way to bounce back. Proud of the team. There's no place in football for that - disgraceful behaviour. Something must be done," the defender tweeted.

Sterling quote-tweeted a story about Bulgaria head coach Krasimir Balakov declaring prior to the match how England had a bigger racism problem than his own country, replying: "Mmmmh ... Not sure about this one chief".

The Manchester City forward added in another post: "Feeling sorry for Bulgaria to be represented by such idiots in their stadium. Anyway.. 6-0 and we go back home, at least we did our job. Safe travel to our fans, u guys did well."

Captain Harry Kane praised the way the England team remained united, as well as congratulating debutant Tyrone Mings.

"Great performance and I’m proud of the togetherness we showed in some disgraceful circumstances," Kane wrote. "Racism has no place in society or football. It needs stamping out for good. Also a massive congrats to @OfficialTM_3 on a great debut."

Former England international Rio Ferdinand, meanwhile, called on UEFA to take action. He wrote: "Let's see punishment...", which was followed by the governing body's official Twitter handle.

Tyrone Mings insists the racist abuse aimed at England's black players in Sofia did not affect him personally and even expressed sympathy for those responsible.

Aston Villa centre-half Mings made his Three Lions debut in Monday's Euro 2020 qualifier in Bulgaria, but a match England won 6-0 was overshadowed by monkey chants and Nazi salutes from a section of home supporters.

Mings was first to flag the problem to an assistant referee, with UEFA protocol then followed by an announcement over the public address system at the Vasil Levski National Stadium, urging offending fans to desist.

England were 3-0 up when boss Gareth Southgate was seen in discussion with the fourth official, preceding a second stoppage that saw a group of Bulgaria supporters ejected from the ground.

Mings told Sky Sports News: "It was obviously disappointing but the way that we handled it, and the appropriate steps that were in place and the protocol that us as a team followed was effective.

"Obviously disappointing to go through what we went through, but very proud of everybody over the way we handled it and ultimately let the football do the talking."

Asked if he felt targeted due to the colour of his skin, he added: "I did [hear chanting], yes. I said to the linesman at the time and obviously notified the captain, which is obviously the first step. Then there was an announcement inside the stadium and the second half, I think, was better.

"We made a collective decision at half-time to come back out and play the game and see if anything changed. We made a collective decision and I think it was the right one at the time.

"We consulted each other, management asked the players and every player was unified and happy to go out and play the second half."

Rather than express anger, Mings said he felt sorry for the perpetrators and outlined why it was important the England players took the stance they did.

"It doesn't affect me one bit, I don't feel like it is a personal attack," he said.

"I feel more sorry for the people who feel they have to express those views. I don't take it to heart, but at the same time, we are in a position where we can make a stand.

"We have a voice and we were out there and could make a stand for people who don't necessarily have our position of influence.

"While it doesn't affect me, we had to follow the correct protocols and let the appropriate people know, just as we were doing all week to represent everybody who has potentially been abused."

UEFA's response to previous incidents of racism has been criticised for being too lax but Mings was confident European football's governing body will act accordingly

He said: "They will deal with it – they have steps in place to take appropriate action.

"I don’t think it's for me to comment on that. I'm sure they will do the right thing."

Gareth Southgate felt his England players made a statement against racism in football by reporting the abuse they were subjected to during Monday's 6-0 win over Bulgaria.

Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling scored two apiece as the Three Lions recovered from their defeat to the Czech Republic in impressive style and moved to within touching distance of securing a spot at Euro 2020.

But the game was stopped twice due to racist chanting from the stands in Sofia – England debutant Tyrone Mings having initially notified the officials and captain Harry Kane remaining in regular dialogue.

Security ejected a group of Bulgaria supporters before half-time and, despite a match abandonment appearing on the cards, England played on to mete out further punishment to their overmatched opponents.

"I have to say that the officials were on to everything very quickly. We reported everything immediately when we heard things," Southgate told ITV.

"We had constant communication with the fourth official and the referee. I was in contact with the players all the way through the first half in particular and then again at half-time.

"We know it's an unacceptable situation. We've managed to make two statements really, by winning the game but also by raising the awareness of everyone to the situation.

"The game was stopped twice and I know for some people that won't be enough but I think as a group we were on board with that process."

Speaking to Sky Sports, Southgate explained his England squad had prepared for such an eventuality at Vasil Levski National Stadium, where some sections of the grandstands were closed for the match as a punishment for previous racist behaviour during Bulgaria's June qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Kosovo.

"I'm incredibly proud of all my players and staff," Southgate added.

"We prepared for this game on the field and off the field. The whole group have been united in where they stood on what might happen, where we were during the game, at half-time and we've spoken again at the end.

"Our players feel well supported. It's such a difficult area because I know not everybody will agree that we've gone far enough. But I still believe we've made a huge statement, the game was stopped twice. I don't believe that's a situation that's happened before in international football.

"For me, an even bigger statement was the way our players played. We've got players who've gone through something they should never have to experience and they've come off with a smile on their face because of how they played.

"They always want the story to be about football but they've also been part of something that I think will be bigger."

Ian Wright called on UEFA to do more to tackle racism in football after England's players were targeted by a section of Bulgaria supporters during their 6-0 Euro 2020 qualification victory in Sofia.

Play was stopped twice during the first half of the fixture after visiting players were subjected to racist chants.

England debutant Tyrone Mings highlighted the problem to the referee's assistant and the initial break included an announcement over the public address system at Vasil Levski National Stadium, urging offending fans to desist.

England were 3-0 up when boss Gareth Southgate was seen in discussion with the fourth official, preceding another stoppage that saw a group of Bulgaria supporters ejected from the ground.

The game reached half-time with the score at 4-0 and former England international Wright, watching on at the ground while working for ITV Sport, said UEFA are "not doing nearly enough" to tackle the problem.

"The fact is there are a set of people there [Bulgaria fans] who have got no respect, they have no respect," he said during half-time.

"UEFA are not doing nearly enough. I am so proud at what [the England players] are doing at the moment."

England and Bulgaria returned to the pitch following the break, during which home captain Ivelin Popov was seen conversing with some supporters.

Sections of the grandstands were closed for the match on account of previous racist incidents, with Wright highlighting what he perceived to be a futile punishment.

"This is a great day, whatever anyone says," Wright continued. "It is a terrible day for Bulgarian people and how they've been represented, but it's a great day in trying to tackle racism, simply because we can see over there in that stand, those banners [UEFA-endorsed anti-racism banners on the empty seating] that mean nothing.

"What we are seeing is a set of fans that do not care and need educating. That’s what's got to happen.

"As a black player, and we've heard it for many years about walking off, it is something that you do not want to do, because you do need your white players to do that with you, so you can go off together, because you are a team together.

"When that can happens, and you can see how powerful that is, it will do something."

The Football Association (FA) has called on UEFA to conduct an urgent investigation after England's players were racially abused during their Euro 2020 qualifying win over Bulgaria.

England bounced back from their defeat to the Czech Republic with a thumping 6-0 victory, but it was a match marred by racist abuse from sections of the support in Sofia.

With England 2-0 up midway through the first half, the game was halted and a message relayed over the public address system, urging home supporters to cease their chanting.

There was a further delay between England's third and fourth goals, with the match appearing close to an abandonment as a group of fans were ejected.

The game continued, with Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane scoring to complete the rout in the second half, and the FA has now demanded an immediate investigation from European football's governing body.

"We can confirm that England players were subjected to abhorrent racist chanting while playing in the Euro 2020 qualifier against Bulgaria," the FA stated in a post on the organisation's official Twitter account.

"This is unacceptable at any level of the game and our immediate focus is supporting the players and staff involved.

"As we are sadly aware, this is not the first time our players have been subjected to this level of abuse and there is no place for this kind of behaviour in society, let alone in football.

"We will be asking UEFA to investigate as a matter of urgency."

FA chairman Greg Clarke was in attendance at Vasil Levski National Stadium, which was partially closed as a punishment for previous incidents of racist abuse from some Bulgarian supporters.

"I was up in the stands with some of the FA staff, watching the game and we heard some sounds which sounded like money chanting," Clarke told ITV Sport.

"I came down, I heard more at the side of the pitch and I saw some activity, [by] a group of people in behind one of the corner flags, which was appalling.

"I would like to see a stringent review by UEFA, I know they take racism very, very seriously, so if we say zero tolerance, zero tolerance means zero tolerance.

"With UEFA, we need to really address that but, to be perfectly frank, we still need to address racism in England. We still have it throughout the pyramid, we see examples every week from the professional game to the grassroots game, we shouldn't take the moral high ground, we should join a movement to drive racism out of our game and have zero tolerance for it.

"One of the ends was closed tonight with respect banners up there because of previous problems. UEFA are going to have to think carefully about the levels of abuse they allow players to tolerate and they're going to have to decide who they make an example of one day but that's after a thorough investigation of the facts."

Ian Wright called on UEFA to do more to tackle racism in football after England's players were targeted by a section of Bulgaria supporters during their 6-0 Euro 2020 qualification victory in Sofia.

Play was stopped twice during the first half of the fixture after visiting players were subjected to racist chants,

England debutant Tyrone Mings highlighted the problem to the referee's assistant and the initial break included an announcement over the public address system at Vasil Levski National Stadium, urging offending fans to desist.

England were 3-0 up when boss Gareth Southgate was seen in discussion with the fourth official, preceding another stoppage that saw a group of Bulgaria supporters ejected from the ground.

The game reached half-time with the score at 4-0 and former England international Wright, watching on at the ground while working for ITV Sport, said UEFA are "not doing nearly enough" to tackle the problem.

"The fact is there are a set of people there [Bulgaria fans] who have got no respect, they have no respect," he said during half-time.

"UEFA are not doing nearly enough. I am so proud at what [the England players] are doing at the moment."

England and Bulgaria returned to the pitch following the break, during which home captain Ivelin Popov was seen conversing with some supporters.

Sections of the grandstands were closed for the match on account of previous racist incidents, with Wright highlighting what he perceived to be a futile punisment.

"This is a great day, whatever anyone says," Wright continued. "It is a terrible day for Bulgarian people and how they've been represented, but it's a great day in trying to tackle racism, simply because we can see over there in that stand, those banners [UEFA-endorsed anti-racism banners on the empty seating] that mean nothing.

"What we are seeing is a set of fans that do not care and need educating. That’s what's got to happen.

"As a black player, and we've heard it for many years about walking off, it is something that you do not want to do, because you do need your white players to do that with you, so you can go off together, because you are a team together.

"When that can happens, and you can see how powerful that is, it will do something."

Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling hit two goals apiece as England thrashed Bulgaria 6-0 in a Euro 2020 qualifier amid racist behaviour from fans in Sofia.

Marcus Rashford and Barkley had Gareth Southgate's men two goals to the good midway through the first half when play was stopped and a message relayed over the public address system at Vasil Levski National Stadium, urging home supporters to cease their abuse.

In between Barkley and Sterling continuing an emphatic response to the Three Lions' surprise defeat to the Czech Republic, there was a further lengthy delay.

The match appeared under threat of abandonment at that stage, as a group of fans were ejected, but England resumed their punishment of over-matched opponents – captain Harry Kane laying on Sterling's second and completing the scoring five minutes from time.

Play was stopped twice before half-time during the Euro 2020 qualifier between Bulgaria and England after the visiting players were subjected to racist abuse.

Following their surprise loss to the Czech Republic on Friday, England stormed into a 4-0 lead at the interval, with Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling on target either side of Ross Barkley's brace.

But events on the field became secondary as pre-match fears England players would be targeted by racist chants were unfortunately realised.

Sterling clashed with Bulgaria winger Wanderson after being fouled by Ismail Isa Mustafa in the 25th minute and a stoppage followed, with an appeal made over the stadium's public address system urging those offending fans to desist.

It was 3-0 by the time England boss Gareth Southgate entered conversation with the fourth official, preceding another more prolonged break in play – during which a group of Bulgaria fans were ejected from the stadium.

Under UEFA's protocol for dealing with racist incidents, the next steps for match referee Ivan Bebek would be to suspend the game and send the players to their dressing rooms for a specific period and then, if discriminatory behaviour did not stop or broke out again, abandon the match.

Tyrone Mings will make his international debut in England's Euro 2020 qualifier against Bulgaria in Sofia.

The Aston Villa centre-back has been selected ahead of Everton's Michael Keane, with England boss Gareth Southgate ringing the changes after Friday's surprise 2-1 loss to the Czech Republic.

Ben Chilwell comes in at left-back for the suspended Danny Rose, whose Tottenham team-mate Harry Winks will operate at the base of the midfield as Declan Rice drops to the bench.

Southgate has turned to two relatively more experienced heads in the form of Ross Barkley and Marcus Rashford, who replace Mason Mount and Jadon Sancho respectively.

Michael Cheika believes Australia's poor recent record against England is "irrelevant" and says he has no issue with Eddie Jones ahead of a blockbuster Rugby World Cup quarter-final on Saturday.

The Wallabies have lost six consecutive matches against England since knocking them out of the last World Cup.

England are favourites to win the last-eight showdown at Oita Stadium this weekend, but Australia head coach Cheika has backed his players to defy the odds.

"Call me a sucker. I believe in my lads," Cheika said on Monday. "I know there's other people who won't give us much of a chance, but I believe that when you believe in yourself you are much closer to being able to create history."

Asked about England's recent dominance of his side, he added: "I think it's irrelevant, really. There are reasons, I'm not trying to avoid it, but why go back and talk about all those games?

"I talked about those games in those press conferences after those games. Looking backwards is only going to give you a sore neck."

Cheika and Jones have never needed much encouragement to exchange jibes, but the Australia boss denied they have a frosty relationship.

"I don't see him very much. Yeah fine, it's all good," said Cheika.

Cheika also refused to shed any light on his plans after the tournament.

He told an English journalist: "I know you don't know me very well but I'm only thinking about today. I'm genuine.

"Actually, you'd get on pretty well with my missus, she's always asking what's going on tomorrow or next week or the week after. I never tell her because I want to enjoy today."

The Rugby World Cup is headed for the knockout rounds after a dramatic pool stage in which Scotland were the biggest casualties.

Eight teams remain from 20, with hosts Japan – who have four wins from four – progressing as winners of Pool A after defeating Gregor Townsend's men on Sunday.

Japan also stunned Ireland in the same group, but Joe Schmidt's side progressed into the quarters in second.

In Pool B, two-time defending champions New Zealand finished top, with an impressive South Africa side behind them. Italy were frustrated as the impact of Typhoon Hagibis ended their slim chances of progression.

Meanwhile, England topped Pool C with France in second place, with Wales and Australia completing the last-eight line-up.

Using Opta data, we look back at an enthralling tournament so far.

Pool A – Japan, Ireland, Scotland, Tonga, Russia

1 – Japan are into the knockout stage of a World Cup for the first time in their history, becoming the first non-tier one side to do so since Fiji in 2007.

5 – Kirill Golosnitskiy's scored in the fifth minute of the opening match as Russia took the lead against Japan. It is the quickest ever try in a World Cup opener.

2 – Scotland have failed to make it out of the pool stages of the Rugby World Cup for just the second time, after also doing so in 2011.

90 – Rob Kearney crossed for a try after just 90 seconds against Russia, Ireland's fastest World Cup try and the fastest of the tournament so far.

48 – Japan's Yu Tamura has scored 48 points so far, more than any other player. All of his points have come with the boot – 10 penalties and nine conversions.

Pool B – New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Namibia, Canada

4 – Canada had Josh Larsen sent off versus South Africa and have had four players dismissed in the history of the World Cup, more than any other side. There have been seven dismissals so far this tournament – four was the previous highest total in both 1995 and 1999.

17 – New Zealand have won their last 17 World Cup matches, the longest run by any side in the tournament's history.

21 – Against Canada, South Africa's Cobus Reinach scored the earliest hat-trick in a World Cup match, crossing for his third try in the 21st minute.

142 – After featuring against South Africa, Italy captain Sergio Parisse surpassed Brian O'Driscoll (141) to become the outright second-most capped player in Test rugby history behind Richie McCaw, who played 148 times.

Pool C – England, France, Argentina, Tonga, USA

20 – Against Argentina, Romain Ntamack, aged 20 years and 143 days, became the youngest player to feature for France in a World Cup match.

88 – Agustin Creevy won his 88th cap for Argentina when he played against England, overtaking Felipe Contepomi as Los Puma's most capped player.

6 – George Ford has been involved in six tries for England, more than any other player, scoring two and providing a tournament-high four assists.

Pool D – Wales, Australia, Fiji, Georgia, Uruguay

62 – Fiji's Semi Radradra topped the charts for carries (62), metres (400) and defenders beaten (29) in the pool stage.

94 – James Slipper scored his first try for Australia in his 94th Test when the Wallabies faced Uruguay. No player from any nation has played more matches before scoring their first try.

130 – By playing in Wales' win over Australia, Alun Wyn Jones overtook Gethin Jenkins (129) as the most capped Welshman, going on to make his 131st appearance against Fiji.

35 – At the age of 35 years and 186 days, Adam Ashley-Cooper is the oldest Australia player to make a World Cup appearance. He subsequently became their oldest try scorer in World Cup history, and their oldest in any match since 1966.

100 – Warren Gatland's side have won 100 per cent of their matches so far. It is the first time Wales have won all of their pool games since 1987.

Gareth Southgate knows England must respond against Bulgaria before worrying about where they rank among the best teams in world football.

Since taking charge of his country late in 2016, Southgate has overseen a surprise run to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and qualification for the inaugural Nations League Finals, where the Three Lions finished third earlier this year.

But a free-scoring start to qualification for Euro 2020, including a 4-0 win over Monday's opponents last month, was checked by a lacklustre 2-1 defeat to the Czech Republic in Prague on Friday.

England struggled for midfield control and were careless in possession, exposing a worryingly fragile defence to pressure they were unable to withstand – Jakub Brabec cancelling out Harry Kane's early opener from the penalty spot before substitute Zdenek Ondrasek pounced to net a late winner.

Impressive performances up until that point lifted Southgate's men up to fourth in the world rankings, although where the team truly lies in that conversation is of no concern to their manager at this point.

"The last couple of days have been about preparing right and making sure we get a reaction. We know it's going to be a difficult game again and we have to be at our best," he said.

"[The players] are very self-reflective. They know. They don't need me to tell them when we don't play at the level we can. We have to recover quickly from the result. There's no point moping around, feeling sorry for ourselves.

"To be one of the best teams in the world, we have to prove that in the biggest competitions. What we have to focus on is qualifying for the European Championships.

"Where we sit among the best teams in the world is a matter for debate and pub talk.

"We performed extremely well throughout the World Cup and for most of the Nations League. That's why we're highly ranked."

Southgate has no injury concerns in the squad that has travelled to Sofia, which does not include suspended Tottenham left-back Danny Rose.

One player England hoped to call upon was uncapped playmaker James Maddison.

The Leicester City star was ruled out of this round of qualifiers through illness and courted tabloid controversy by being photographed in a Leicester casino on the same day as the Czech Republic defeat.

"Once a player has been released from the squad, it's up to them how they spend their individual time," Southgate said.

"I guess what James has learned is that if you have an involvement with England there is an increased spotlight on you.

"That goes with the territory. It's a high-profile position."

Kane moved on to seven goals for the qualification campaign last time out and is determined to lead by example when it comes to getting matters back on course.

"Myself and quite a few other in the team have been involved in high-pressure games for club and country, away games in Europe which are always tough," he said.

"Our main objective is to win. How we do that, we don't mind. We've just got to get the job done.

"If we can win it puts us in a very good place to qualify. We've got more than enough players in the team who have played in big European games."

Victory in Bulgaria would seal qualification for England if Kosovo do not beat Montenegro at home.

Gareth Southgate will consider returning to the three-man defence England used at the World Cup in the wake of Friday's loss to the Czech Republic.

Frailties were exposed in a 2-1 defeat that prevented the Three Lions from booking their place at Euro 2020 as Michael Keane in particular struggled behind a midfield pairing of Declan Rice and Jordan Henderson.

The poor showing in Prague has forced manager Southgate to rethink his move away from the formation that served him well in Russia.

Harry Maguire, John Stones and Kyle Walker, now dropped from the squad, formed a reliable back three en route to the semi-finals.

"It's certainly something we've considered and I don't think we can dismiss," Southgate said.

"I think we are in a difficult situation in terms of the players that have played international football with us in that area of the pitch and who are playing regularly with their clubs.

"That's part of the reason we didn't [play a three-man defence against the Czech Republic].

"I'm not sure, ahead of Monday, if that's the right thing to do but we're very aware and assessing those things."

Amendments to the midfield shape are more likely for Monday's game against Bulgaria after Rice and Henderson failed to convince in the engine room of a new-look 4-2-3-1.

Tottenham's Harry Winks could win a promotion to the starting XI in Sofia.

Southgate said: "He has to be in consideration, and we've got to assess one or two injuries as well.

"We've got some good players in the squad and the performance in Prague certainly wasn't at the level we needed.

"So of course we've got to think about where we might want to make those changes."

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.

 

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