England 2-1 Wales FOOTBALL

Daniel Sturridge scored an injury-time winner as
England came from behind to beat Wales and secure
their first victory at Euro 2016.
England goalkeeper Joe Hart’s dreadful blunder allowed
Gareth Bale’s 30-yard free-kick to creep in and put Wales
ahead just before the interval in Lens.
Manager Roy Hodgson’s side were jeered off at the break
and with England’s campaign – and arguably his future – on
the line, he gambled by introducing Jamie Vardy and
Sturridge for the struggling Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane.
The roll of the dice worked as Vardy scrambled in an
equaliser from close range after 56 minutes before constant
England pressure saw Sturridge work his way into the area
and poke past keeper Wayne Hennessey at the near post.
England move top of Group B and need a point against
Slovakia on Monday to earn automatic qualification into the
last 16, while Wales must beat Russia to guarantee a top-two
finish.
Gambler Hodgson’s winning hand
When England left the pitch at half-time accompanied by
abuse from their own fans, everything was on the line in this
Euro 2016 campaign.
England were facing a humiliating first defeat by Wales since
1984 and the pressure was on Hodgson as his own future
would have been in jeopardy if he and his team had made
an ignominious exit from France.
He needed to be positive and inspirational, qualities his
detractors have accused him of lacking in the past – but here
it came off.
Out went Kane and Sterling and on came Sturridge and
Vardy. It was all-out attack and the momentum shifted
almost instantly as the second half was a tale of almost
virtual England domination.
A different script might have been written had Sturridge not
produced that late winner, but the bottom line is Hodgson’s
ploy worked.
It was not scientific – more a question of throwing everything
at it and see what happens – but the desired result was
achieved and England secured a win from a losing half-time
position for the first time at a major tournament.
Hodgson gambled with England’s Euro 2016 future and his
own. Now he will hope the tournament is ignited for his
team.

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