Bukayo Saka was put on the field to turn possession into penetration, to create chances for an England team that had scored only one goal in two matches at the European Championship.
He did all that and more, but he still came up short in one particular area.
Raheem Sterling scored the only goal in England’s 1-0 victory over the Czech Republic on Tuesday by heading in a cross from Jack Grealish that flew just over the jumping Saka’s own head.
“It was a great cross from Jack and Raheem was there for the goal,” the 19-year-old midfielder said. “I almost got there but I’m just not quite tall enough.”
He was good enough, however. Good enough to get UEFA’s player of the match award. And maybe even good enough to stay in the starting lineup when England plays its next Euro 2020 match in the round of 16.
“He earned that…