England vs. Wales was expected to be one of the most intense matches of Group B at Euro 2016, as Roy Hodgson’s side was in a desperate need of a win, in order to keep their chances of advancing in the round of 16. Of course, the Welsh were also after a win, allowing them to secure their position as group leaders.
After a relatively boring first half, Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale opened the score with a superb 30-yard free kick, in front of which Joe Hart had no chance. 14 minutes later, Leicester and EPL’s top scorer, Jamie Vardy leveled for England, after replacing Harry Kane.
The game was just a few minutes from being over and things weren’t looking that good for England when substitute Daniel Sturridge made it 2-1 and brought Roy Hodgson’s side the much needed victory.
Like expected, the manager was delighted with the result and wanted to let everybody know about it. “It’s a long time since myself and the coaching staff have showed such joy,” Roy Hodgson told BBC Radio 5 live. “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,” he added.
After today’s game, England, now leading Group B, needs just a point from Monday’s match against Slovakia and they will automatically qualify to the next round. On the other side, Wales has a tougher mission with Russia, as a victory would guarantee a top-two finish. Still, a point would also be enough for them, but only if Slovakia doesn’t beat England.
The game between England and Wales had an increased level of security, after this Wednesday’s events, which ended with Russian and English supporters being detained. 37 people were arrested and the Russian football team were given a last warning by the UEFA, while an alcohol ban was also imposed.