A look back at England’s past meetings with Bulgaria

England are preparing to face Bulgaria in Sofia as they continue their bid to qualify for next summer’s European Championship.

The two nations have met on 11 previous occasions and boss Gareth Southgate will be keen to maintain the Three Lions’ unbeaten record against the Eastern Europeans when they renew acquaintances on Monday.

Bulgaria 0 England 0, June 1962

England’s first game against Bulgaria was a World Cup group match in Chile, with Johnny Haynes captaining the team in what would be his penultimate international appearance.

England 1 Bulgaria 1, December 1968

England v West Germany
England’s World Cup winners were held 1-1 by Bulgaria in 1968, with Geoff Hurst (right) on the score sheet (PA Archive)

Geoff Hurst scored England’s equaliser as the World Cup holders hosted Bulgaria at Wembley for the first time in an international friendly, Georgi Asparuhov having put the visitors ahead.

Bulgaria 0 England 1, June 1974

Frank Worthington scored the winning goal as caretaker manager Joe Mercer oversaw a friendly win at the Vasil Levski national stadium in Sofia.

Bulgaria 0 England 3, June 1979

Kevin Keegan, Dave Watson and Peter Barnes scored the goals as Ron Greenwood’s team were convincing winners in a European Championship qualifier.

England 2 Bulgaria 0, November 1979

Glenn Hoddle
Glenn Hoddle made his England debut against Bulgaria in 1979 (PA Archive)

The return fixture in European Championship qualification brings another victory for England courtesy of goals from Watson and a debutant called Glenn Hoddle.

England 1 Bulgaria 0, March 1996

Terry Venables’ side continued their preparations for Euro 96 with a win thanks to an early goal from Les Ferdinand at Wembley.

England 0 Bulgaria 0, October 1998

Michael Owen
England were held by Bulgaria at Wembley in 1998 (Tony Harris/PA)

Hoddle is now the England manager and the Three Lions’ four-match winning streak against Bulgaria ends as a goalless stalemate in European Championship qualifying.

Bulgaria 1 England 1, June 1999

The return fixture in European Championship qualification saw England struggle again as Alan Shearer scored in another disappointing draw under Keegan, with Bulgaria having had Martin Petrov sent off before the hour.

England 4 Bulgaria 0, September 2010

Jermain Defoe
Jermain Defoe struck a hat-trick against Bulgaria in 2010 (David Davies/PA)

Jermain Defoe scored a hat-trick as Fabio Capello’s side opened their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign with their biggest victory against Bulgaria. Adam Johnson netted the other goal at Wembley.

Bulgaria 0 England 3, September 2011

Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney helped England to victory in their last meeting with Bulgaria (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Before the nations were drawn together in Group A, England’s most recent meeting with Bulgaria came eight years ago in Sofia. A Gary Cahill goal and two more from Wayne Rooney moved Capello’s men a step closer to Euro 2012 qualification.

England 4 Bulgaria 0, September 2019

England v Bulgaria – UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying – Group A – Wembley Stadium
Harry Kane scored his second international hat-trick last month (Tim Goode/PA)

Harry Kane hit a hat-trick as England made it three wins out of three in European Championship qualifying Group A with Raheem Sterling also on target at Wembley as Southgate’s men moved a step closer to qualification.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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