Bulgaria versus England. Last versus first. You could predict an England win even if they played with a man down.

Ultimately, a thumping 6-0 victory for the visitors at the Vasil Levski National Stadium in Sofia.

Bulgaria were a no contest, a clear mismatch and only threatened Pickford’s goal 2 times in the full match. Two goals for Barkley and Sterling and a further goal for Rashford and Kane saw the three lions past with ease.

What most people couldn’t predict before the match would be the intensive racist abuse towards the England players.

With the new anti-racism protocol being in place for this match amid some pre-match concerns, this game was one more warning from being abandoned and it is something that should not happen in the world of football.

Two instances of racial abuse being hurled at England players in the first half meant game stoppages with prolonged investigations to try and locate and eradicate the sources.

The result was 30+ Bulgarian fans leaving the stadium minutes before the end of the first half.

According to the protocol, upon the third infraction, the game will be abandoned. With the second half approaching, there was a doubt if the Three Lions team would return to the pitch, but after showing great professionalism and courage to stand up to the racist abuse.

England walked back out there and they were on fire putting two more past the Bulgarian goalkeeper Plamen Iliev.

Bulgaria’s Captain, Ivelin Popov was seen conversing with the home fans, hopefully pleading for them to calm down and this shows it is a fight that is led by everyone on the pitch as one.

There were no more stoppages despite other cases where chants were heard. If the protocol has fully worked or not is hard to tell, but any little helps in the fight against racism.

Looking ahead, England need one more point to guarantee qualification to the Euro 2020 tournament with the next game being against Montenegro on the 14th of November.

(Picture by Kick it Out, under Creative Commons License)