Tottenham goalkeeper David Button endured a personal horror story as England
opened their European Under-19 Championship campaign in the worst possible
manner with defeat to hosts Czech Republic.
Button gifted the Czechs their opener and with striker Tomas Necid adding a
second shortly afterwards, England were unable to force their way back into the
match even though the hosts finished the contest with only nine men in
It leaves Brian Eastick's side requiring victory against Italy on Thursday to
retain any realistic hope of making the knock-out stage of a tournament they
began with such high hopes.
Although England allowed themselves to be dominated by a physically stronger
Czech side, Eastick's side were starting to impose themselves when catastrophe
struck nine minutes after the restart.
Button appeared to have the situation under control as Martin Zeman launched a
long ball forward.
Unfortunately, the young goalkeeper misread the bounce, allowing Necid to close
in on his attempted clearance, then tap into an empty net after the charge down
had fallen at his feet.
Within four minutes, Necid struck again, with Zeman providing the opportunity
from a corner England's defence failed to deal with.
Although the Three Lions ended the game facing only nine men following the
dismissals of Jakub Heidenreich and Roman Brunclick there was a woeful lack of
invention from England.
Manchester City's Daniel Sturridge came close with a couple of free-kicks but
it was difficult to gain any comfort from that and with Scott Sinclair among
those who failed to make any impression, Eastick has some tough decisions ahead
of the Italy clash, where defeat will send England out.