Date:Monday June 11 2007
The England Under-21's kicked off their European Championship campaign this evening, but Blackburn Rovers striker Matt Derbyshire had to be content with a place on the bench.
England started their campaign with the early Evening kick-off (17:15 UK time) and a match against their Czech Republic counterparts, and although it wasn't quite the typical opening group game match you often see where both sides are so tentative that they don't play at all because no one wants to lose, it was still not one of the better games you will see.
We (England) had our chances (as did the Czech's with them actually hitting the post, as a result of a wonderful save from Liverpool's Scott Carson) with Manchester United's Kieran Richardson missing an absolute SITTER early in the second half, before Preston's David Nugent went mighty close. However, the best chance of all came with just minutes to go!
After the Czech central-defensive captain (who had a superb game I might add!) handled in the area England were awarded a penalty. Up stepped Reading's Leroy Lita (who had come on as a second half sub, when it probably would have been Derbyshire had he taken his chances in the recent warm-up friendly) and despite sending the goalkeeper the wrong way he also missed the target, clipping the outside of the post as he shot wide!
A point is a point, but this is not what England would have wanted to start with.
At this moment in time a fancied Italian side are currently trailing to Serbia in our (England's) group! Is this good? I'm not actually sure after our 0-0 draw? The pressure will certainly be on for England on Thursday when we meet the Italians!
So, Derbs was left warming the bench but I am sure his time to shine in this tournament will still come…
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Date:Monday June 11 2007
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