England were brave but can it really last?
For many people in England this was the match they were waiting for. Wales have a new found confidence after qualification & are flying up the FIFA rankings...
England won the battle of Britain game against Wales with a goal in the final minutes.
Wales took the lead with another free-kick by the world’s most expensive player. Gareth Bale smashed a long-range effort past Manchester City keeper Joe Hart from nearly 30 yards out.
FREE KICK EXPERT
Bale free-kick against England
Tottenham striker Harry Kane started up front for England with Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling working the channels.
England couldn’t get into a true flowing style which meant 2016 Premier League top scorer Kane, never really got chance to show his class.
The half time break saw the introduction of the English Premier League Champions Jamie Vardy & Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge.
Sturridge offers England something very different. He likes to run with the ball & have a dribbleDean Gorré - football4football Head of Development
Straight away there was a fresher feel to England going forward. Vardy started to run & stretch the Wales defence at every opportunity. His abilities can be applied in any situation with or without the ball. Sturridge, again offers something different. Dancing feet & trickery his norm along with quick give & goes with team-mates.
These two substitutes all of a sudden seemed to give Wales enough to think about to limit them to a more counter attacking game.
Vardy, pounced almost immediately to set up a tense finish. Of course Wales still had the threat of Bale’s pace & the artistry of Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey. England kept pressing, adding to their attacking options by bringing on teenager Marcus Rashford. The Manchester United striker became the youngest England player to appear at a European Championships.
VARDY - GAME CHANGER
Roy Hodgson, normally seen as a cautious coach really surprised with the number of forward players on the pitch at one time.
His bold decision worked when Sturridge bounced the ball around with Tottenham’s Dele Alli before pushing a shot past the fixed Wales keeper, Hennessy.
Sturridge winner for England v Wales
The question now will be if Hodgson sticks with his goals scorers for the final group game against Slovakia. Great because it made an immediate impact but is it a realistic option for England to continue with. If he does, they'll will have a pacy shoot on site attack but lacks any real time to fully work together.
Tournament football is always a challenge but generally eventual winners have a settled team from the start to the final. But you never know….