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Euro 2016: England beats Wales 2-1


06-17-2016 10:52 BJT

In Group B of Euro 2016, England took on neighbor Wales on Thursday. It was the 102nd meeting between the teams, but the first at a major championship. The Three Lions needed a win after their opening draw against Russia, to keep their hopes of advancing alive, as they were sitting behind first-placed Welsh in the group.

Bollaert-Delelis provided an ideal setting on a day when fears of fan violence failed to materialize.

Just as he had in Wales’s opening 2-1 win over Slovakia, Gareth Bale put Chris Coleman’s side ahead, hitting a long-range free-kick that England goalkeeper Joe Hart could only fumble into the net.

Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge came on at half-time, replacing Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane. And Leicester’s Vardy leveled the score in the 56th minute. Wales captain Ashley Williams glanced a Sturridge cross back toward goal and Vardy forced the ball over the line for his fourth goal in his last five England appearances.

England secured the three points one minute into injury time when Sturridge played a one-two with Dele Alli and squeezed the ball inside Welsh keeper Wayne Hennessey’s right-hand post to make it 2-1.

Sturridge’s goal puts Roy Hodgson’s men at the top of the group. Wales is a point back, above Slovakia on head-to-head record, and needs to beat Russia to guarantee one of the two automatic qualifying berths. A draw against Slovakia will suffice for England.

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