England 2 v 1 Wales – Euro 2016 Group B

ENG 2 v 1 WAL – The Three Lions snatched a lucky win as a stubborn Welsh side held a disappointing England for much of an entertaining game at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis in Lens. In a complete tactical mis-match Roy Hodgson‘s predictable, labouring England side were more than matched by Wales, astutely prepared by Chris ColemanManchester City FC winger Raheem Sterling wasted a glorious chance to put England ahead in the opening stages. Good play from Harry Kane on the halfway line sent the busy Adam Lallana away on the right and his squared ball was ballooned wide by Sterling. Wales frustrated England for much of the half with Wayne Rooney again ineffectual in a midfield role. Lallana and Sterling fell into the trap of cutting into to a congested final third, with service to Kane non-existent again. Lazy play from Rooney saw him commit a foul 30 yards out just before the half time whistle, which resulted in Real Madrid C.F. superstar Gareth Bale swerving a drive into the bottom corner. A horrible moment for Joe Hart who knows he should have done so much better to keep the strike out. The sensible introduction of Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge at half time ended up making the difference in the end for a desperate Roy Hodgson. As the Welsh sat back on their lead, Leicester City Football Club‘s Vardy gambled on a poor header from Ashley Williams and equalised. England huffed and puffed but without any real tactical changes they still struggled to do anything creative and looked to have run out of ideas. Deep into stoppage time Daniel Sturridge combined well with Vardy and Alli to poke a winner that gave England a necessary win. It was cruel on the Welsh who were fantastic defensively throughout and stifled their opposition with a courageous defensive display. Big questions still remain of England, and their manager has some selection choices to ponder before their final group game against Slovakia. 

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