England reaches round of 16 after draw with Slovakia

Written by Peter Clarke

Roy Hodgson’s side needed just a point in yesterday’s game against Slovakia in order to advance past the group stages at Euro 2016, but it was more than obvious that a victory would’ve been better, in order to finish up front of Group B. After a goal-less game, The Three Lions finished as runner-up and are expected to face Portugal, Iceland or Hungary in the next stage.

Despite his amazing performance as a midfielder against Wales, Way Rooney wasn’t a part of the starting eleven, this being considered Hodgson’s biggest mistake. Manchester United’s player did appear in the second half, replacing Jack Wilshere, who was far from having a great night, but was still unable to break the Slovakia defence, kept together by veteran Martin Skrtel.

England’s fans maintained a superb atmosphere during the game singing “Don’t Take Me Home”, alongside the national anthem. Not to mention that the Saint-Etienne stadium was full of Saint George flags last night, as the fans were basically everywhere, including the Slovakian sector. A notable moment was when Wayne Rooney entered the pitch, being received like the hero able to save England.

Leicester’s Jamie Vardy was a starter last night, but unfortunately, he couldn’t score once again during the entire 90 minutes, despite the few occasions he had. The attacking line was completed by Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge, both of them substituted in the second half by Tottenham’s Dele Alli and Harry Kane.

Wales on the other side had a historic moment, winning 3-0 against Russia, in a match which can be considered the greatest in Welsh football history, alongside their qualification for Euro 2016, after a 58-year absence from major tournaments.

“I’m immensely proud of nights like tonight, when you see a sea of red supporters and hear that kind of support,” manager Chris Coleman said, right after the game.

“I think we have just gone to the next level,” said former Wales striker Dean Saunders, part of the 1991 team that beat Germany.

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Peter Clarke

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