A second-half comeback from England against Wales has kept the Three Lions hopes alive at UEFA EURO 2016. Roy Hodgson’s side now sit clear at the top of Group B, needing just a point against Slovakia (Tuesday, 21 June, 5:00am AEST) to progress.
England entered UEFA EURO 2016 with the youngest squad in the tournament, with an average age of just 25. Hodgson selected promising youngsters such as Dele Alli, Marcus Rashford and Eric Dier in his 23 man squad. It was Dier, the 22 year-old Tottenham midfielder, who scored England’s first goal of the tournament. With just 17 minutes remaining and scores locked at 0—0, Dier’s free-kick was superbly placed past Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev. England probably should have won it too, but for Vasili Berezutski’s last minute header which left the match at 1—1.
Against Wales, England went down a goal just before half-time. Hodgson reshuffled the deck, substituting Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling for Daniel Sturridge and Jamie Vardy. It proved to be a masterstroke, as both men scored in the second half.
“It’s a long time since myself and the coaching staff have showed such joy,” Hodgson said. “When the chances don’t go in and you’ve compounded your task by conceding that Gareth Bale goal, it really is a happy moment when both the substitutes score. I thought it was on the cards all the way through the second half.”
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