Which of these is correct?
England has played well today, even if it lost. Or - England have played well today, even if they lost.
...but "England have played well today, even if they lost." is preferable, because it is more personal: it avoids to use of 'it'.
With reference to national teams (sporting events, etc.), the plural form is by far the more common, whereas with reference to military contests, the singular is standard.
Italy have won the match.
Italy has lost the war.
But they still sound odd to our North American ears. Like French, we prefer our collectives to be singular: La police a répondu. La France a gagné. Ireland has won.