Date: June 16, 2016
Result: England 2 Wales 1
England Vardy 56, Sturridge 90+1
Wales Bale 42
Venue: Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Lens
Substitute Daniel Sturridge snatched an injury-time winner as England came from a goal behind to beat Wales 2-1 in Lens. It was a cruel ending for Wales, who looked to have held on for a point against an England side that showed familiar frailties while chasing the game at another major tournament.
England had been booed off at half-time after Gareth Bale had given Wales the lead with an audacious free-kick which slipped through the hands of England keeper Joe Hart.
Roy Hodgson threw caution to the wind in the second half, bringing on strikers Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge at half-time, and both substitutes played their part in England’s first victory of the tournament. Vardy equalised when he pounced on a loose ball headed back towards goal by Wales captain in the 56th minute. And then Sturridge popped up to score the dramatic winner in injury time.
Daniel Sturridge’s dramatic late equaliser. Just as it looked as if Wales would hold out and England’s search for a winner was in vain, Sturridge dodged his way through the Wales back line. When full-back Chris Gunter slipped, Sturridge was able to poke the ball over him and inside Wayne Hennessey’s near post.
Man of the match:
Wales struggled to cope with the runs down the right flank of Kyle Walker. His cross was headed down by Wales defender Ashley Williams, into the path of Jamie Vardy, for England’s equaliser.
Matter of fact:
This was the first time that England won a game at a major tournament after being behind at half-time.
Roy Hodgson had earned praise for his positive mindset in selecting five forwards in his tournament squad. Yet against Wales, he opted for the one striker, Harry Kane, flanked by winger Raheem Sterling, who missed England’s best chance of the first half, and midfielder Adam Lallana.
To Hodgson’s credit, he made bold changes at the break, replacing Kane and the ineffective Sterling with Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge. It was Kane who claimed the equaliser 10 minutes into the second half. England ended the match with a three-man forward line, Marcus Rashford having replaced Lallana, and their pressure told when Sturridge grabbed a late, late winner.
A cruel end for Wales, but England’s place in the tournament – and Hodgson’s reputation – had been rescued.
Attempts on target
01 Joe Hart
02 Kyle Walker
03 Danny Rose
05 Gary Cahill
06 Chris Smalling
07 Raheem Sterling (15 Daniel Sturridge 46)
08 Adam Lallana (22 Marcus Rashford 73)
09 Harry Kane (11 Jamie Vardy 46)
10 Wayne Rooney
17 Eric Dier
20 Dele Alli
Starting formation: 4-3-3
Hart – Walker, Smalling, Cahill, Rose – Alli, Dier, Rooney – Lallana, Kane, Sterling
01 Wayne Hennessey
02 Chris Gunter
03 Neil Taylor
04 Ben Davies
05 James Chester
06 Ashley Williams
07 Joe Allen
09 Hal Robson-Kanu (20 Jonathan Williams 72)
10 Aaron Ramsey
11 Gareth Bale
16 Joe Ledley (14 David Edwards 67)
Starting formation: 5-3-2
Hennessey – Gunter, Chester, A Williams, Davies, Taylor – Ramsey, Ledley, Allen – Robson-Kanu, Bale
Wales: Davies 57
Referee: Felix Brych (Ger)