It was heartache for Wales as Daniel Sturridge scored a stoppage-time winner to give England all three points in this afternoon’s Euro 2016 clash.
Gareth Bale’s 35-yard free-kick gave Chris Coleman’s team the lead before half-time but they were unable to cope when Roy Hodgson introduced Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge at half-time.
Vardy scored the equaliser in the 56th minute and England huffed and puffed until the second minute of injury-time, when Sturridge managed to steer the ball home from close range.
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It was a deflating feeling for the thousands of Welsh supporters inside the Stade Bollaert-Delelis and the rest watching in Britain. On Saturday, Wales won their first ever European Championship game, but beating England in a major tournament would have trumped that win over Slovakia.
Bale remained defiant in his post-game speech - he promised Wales will “keep fighting all the way” - but it’s clear that Coleman will have to lift his players’ spirits ahead of their final group game, against Russia on June 20.
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For those Wales fans inside the stadium, the remaining 10 minutes must have been torture. Hodgson introduced another striker, Marcus Rashford, in the 73rd minute as England pushed in search of a winner.
A video is doing the rounds of one Wales fan who, with five minutes of the game remaining, is in tears, such is the emotion of the occasion.
His friends quickly tell him that he’s on the big screen and the fan’s worry quickly turns into enthusiasm, as he begins to cheer his team on. If anyone ever says ‘football is just a game’, show them this video.
BALE REMAINS DEFIANT
One imagines this won’t be the last we hear of this fan, who’s bound to become an internet sensation. As harsh as it sounds, we’d love to see his reaction when Sturridge scored.
For those Wales fans wishing to drown their sorrows, Bale’s post-match comments will serve as a nice remedy.
The Real Madrid star, who scored his second free-kick in five days, reckons Wales will turn a positive out of today’s disappointment.
"We'll go into the next game with even more strength,” he said, per BBC Sport.
“We keep fighting all the way. We knew that even if it wasn't a great result today then we're still in the thick of things.
"Obviously it's massively disappointing but I'm very proud of everybody. We gave everything like we always do and as I said before, if we go out and give 100% and have no regrets, then we can't do anymore.
“We're very disappointed but inside we still feel strong, we still feel happy, we're enjoying the experience, we still have one more game to go."
Wales now sit second in Group B knowing that victory against Russia will see them into the last-16.
Was England 2-1 Wales the best game of Euro 2016 so far? Let us know in the comments section below!
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