Group B next-door neighbours face off in Lens today at 2pm
Conor Coyle WebFG News | 16 Jun, 2016 12:13 - Updated: 16:56 | | |
The highly anticipated Euro 2016 Group B clash between neighbours England and Wales is set to kick off today after months of waiting, with Gareth Bale's Welsh team ready to ambush Roy Hodgson's favourites in Lens. The British rivals arrive to the northern French city today in vastly different situations. Despite controlling the majority of Saturday's game against Russia, a late equaliser from Vasili Berezutski and off-pitch distraction in the form of supporter violence have disrupted England's preparations for the game. Follow the latest action of the game here:
Chris Coleman - So close yet so far away
Wales manager Chris Coleman has done a brilliant job with this group of players and they were so unfortunate today. A point would have been a fantastic result for them but in the end it wasn´t to be. They will ahead into their final game with Russia with everything to play for. Coleman spoke to BBC after the game:
"A point for us would have been fantastic. They are a very good team, very strong. Congrats to Roy, he made some good substitutions and we knew they would push us back. Most of the time we looked quite strong and although they had a lot of possession I wasn't that worried."
"The guys showed great heart. They stuck into the game and with 60 seconds remaining, to give up that point we worked so hard for, we are gutted but we have to move on. We are here to get through to the last 16. If you are from Wales, you always looked at this game because it is England but for me it is the middle game of three. We move on and have to show a reaction against Russia."
Roy Hodgson: "It is amazing"
Genius or lucky? Things weren't looking good for Roy Hodgson at half-time, as his team were 1-0 down and looking like they were running out of ideas. The former Liverpool boss's credentials were being questioned, but his gamble paid off in the end. Many lobbied Hodgson to pick Sturrudge and Vardy from the start and they were the difference in the end. Here's what Roy said to BBC:
"It is amazing. We played so well against Russia and conceded in the 93rd minute and today we worked so hard in the second half and pushed and pushed and then scored in the 92nd minute, I suppose it shows things do even out but it is rare to see them even out in the space of two games."
"We thought a lot about what the starting 11 should be but I didn't want to start breaking eggs with a big stick. I thought I would keep one or two up my sleeve. I was kind of counting on us seeing out the first half and then making a change but the goal meant it was pushed on to me a bit. I was always in our thoughts to bring on Vardy and Sturridge and then bring on Wilshere or Rashford when we were looking for a goal."
Or in other words, "phew".
Full time: England 2-1 Wales
Gareth Bale: "'I am very proud'
After giving his side the lead in this Group B Euro 2016 game, Gareth Bale had Wales fans in dreamland. But the dream turned out to be false as two scrappy England goals took them over the line. Bale spoke of the pride he had for his Wales teammates after the game when talking to the BBC.
"Obviously it is massively disappointing but I am very proud of everybody. We gave everything like we always do and I have said before if we go out but have given 100% then we can't do any more. We are disappointed at the moment but we are strong inside and the tournament is not over yet. We will go into the next game with even more strength."
England 2-1 Wales: Sturridge - "It's a great feeling"
Matchwinner Daniel Sturridge spoke to the BBC directly after the game and was in a rush of emotion.
"It's a great feeling. Unbelievable. I am grateful to the gaffer for the opportunity and God for allowing me to score. It is a brilliant feeling.
"It is only one more game in the group, so no-one wants to get too excited but the atmosphere is unbelievable and the togetherness between the two countries here is unbelievable.
FULL TIME - England snatch victory at the death
What a game that was, possibly the most enthralling of the tournament so far. The Welsh side gave it absolutely everything and were unfortunate at the end. England will be relieved as much as delighted with this victory, which at half-time looked far away from them.
Roy Hodgson has proven he is willing to gamble when necessary and will receive plenty of plaudits as his two half-time substitutes made their mark when they came on. Sturridge and Vardy will have wondered what they did wrong until now, but they have set their marker down for the rest of the tournament.
92 mins STURRIDGE GOAL
What drama here! Daniel Sturridge has repaid Hodgson's faith as he starts and finishes an excellent move from England to break Wales' hearts! He picks up the ball on the edge of the box and exchanges passes with Jamie Vardy and Dele Alli to finish with his weaker right foot. Cue pandemonium in the stands. Tough on Wales.
90 mins - Injury time 3 minutes
We enter injury time in Lens as England still control posession, again without creating a lot of clear cut chances. Wales would settle for a draw, I imagine.
84 mins - Joe Allen on top
Diminutive Welsh midfielder Joe Allen has been absolutely brilliant today. As he was against Slovakia, he is getting in amongst the England midfield, just generally making a nuisance of himself, and he can actually play a bit as well.
Meanwhile, the internet is going crazy for this passionate Welsh fan:
77 mins - Rashford sets up Rooney chance
Marcus Rashford's first touch sees him glide past a defender easily. It ends up at the feet of Wayne Rooney, who shoots - great block from James Chester. Stood his ground, magnificent. Well played by Rooney as his initial attempt at goal was crowded out before an excellent turn. Pressure increasing as we go into the last 10 minutes.
72 mins - Tired legs?
This game has been played at a frantic pace thus far and it looks like there has been a slight downswing in tempo as the players gather their energy for one final push. Jonny Williams comes on for Wales replacing Robson-Kanu, and Marcus Rashford comes on to become England's youngest ever player at the Euros. Hodgson is really going for it now.
66 mins - End to end stuff
England are putting most of the pressure on now but Wales break up field and force a corner which Aaron Ramsey sends too far. Daniel Sturridge has had about 5 shots since coming on and is looking dangerous. Has Roy got this one right? Wales' Joe Ledley comes off injured and is replaced by Dave Edwards.
55 mins - VARDY GOAL
England are having a party. 10 minutes after being introduced to his first major championbship, Leicester City hero Jamie Vardy does what he's picked to do. Wales want an offside flag, as he is about four yards offside, but the header down came from Wales captain Ashley Williams, not an England player. Vardy swivels and buries the ball like a true poacher. Now we have agame in Lens.
54 mins - Rooney threatens
Wayne Rooney with England's best effort of the game so far as he tried to bend one into the bottom corner, but Hennessey tips it around the post for a corner.
45 mins - Second half kicks off
Substitutions made, England have 45 minutes to save their European campaign. Wales have 45 minutes to hold on for a historic victory.
HALF-TIME - Sturridge and Vardy on, Sterling and Kane off
England have no shortage of options on the bench here, and Roy Hodgson is throwing caution to the wind by putting on his two biggest attacking threats. Daniel Sturridge and Jamie Vardy promise plenty of pace and goalscoring power, can they break down Wales' tough defence? Sterling and Kane have been extremely disappointing in England's two games thus far.
HALF-TIME - England booed off by some fans
What a first half we have had. England controlled the game for the vast majority of the game, before Welsh wizard Gareth Bale strode up to hit a beauty of a free-kick from 35 yards. Joe Hart has made of a mess of this though no doubt, and if that goal jeopardizes England's passage to the next round he will get a lot of stick.
England have not been up to it however, controlling the game without creating clear-cut chances. Roy Hodgson has a huge job on his hands now, while Chris Coleman is on the brink of a major victory that could ensure his side's passage to the last 16. Whose shoes would you rather be in?
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