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Euro 2016: Late Sturridge strike wins it for England

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An inspired double substitution at half-time by England Manager Roy Hodgson saw the Three Lions turn around a first half deficit courtesy goals from Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge as England edged out neighbours Wales 2-1 in a passionate contest in Lille.

Trailing 1-0 at the break due to some poor goalkeeping by Joe Hart that allowed Gareth Bale to score from yet another freekick, England Manager Roy Hodgson made the gutsy decision to withdraw striker Harry Kane and winger Raheem Sterling after a less than inspiring showing from the duo in the tournament thus far.

While Kane has largely been anonymous in the 1½ games he has played so far, Sterling missed a sitter early in the game today that would have put England ahead.

Instead it was Wales who took the lead as Gareth Bale curled home another freekick, this time from 35 yards out with Manchester City stopper Joe Hart palming the ball into his own net.

Hodgson's half-time changes made a near instant impact with Vardy drawing England level in the 56th minute benefiting from a fortunate bounce of the ball that came his way off Wales skipper Ashley Williams as the Swansea City man attempted to clear a cross. Standing nearly 4 yards offside, Vardy slammed the ball home under Wayne Hennessey, and rightly saw the goal awarded despite Welsh protests due to the fact that Williams and not an England player got the final touch.

With the game looking certain to finish in a draw, England got what was perhaps a deserved winner on the balance of play through their other half-time substitute Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge, who played a good give and go, and toe poked home from close range in the 92nd minute, beating Hennessey a little too easily at his near post.

Wales had a late chance to restore parity with Gareth Bale doing well to get his head onto a deep cross, but couldn't get his effort on target.

The win for England takes them up to 4 points from two games, rescuing them from the threat of possible elimination, and the Three Lions now sit proudly at the Top of Group B, ahead of Wales and Slovakia, who have three points each. England face Slovakia in their last group game, and even a defeat in that match could be enough to see them qualify, while Wales face Russia, knowing that they will probably need to get a draw at least, depending on how other results go.


England: Hart, Walker, Smalling, Cahill, Rose, Dier, Rooney, Alli, Lallana (Rashford 73'), Kane (Vardy 46'), Sterling (Sturridge 46').

Wales: Hennessey, Chester, A Williams, Davies, Gunter, Allen, Ledley (Edwards 65'), Ramsey, Taylor, Bale, Robson-Kanu (J Williams 72').

Final Score: England 2-1 Wales (Bale 42', Vardy 56', Sturridge 90+2')