Roy Hodgson celebrates England's winner against Wales.

Roy Hodgson delighted after England's comeback win over Wales

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Roy Hodgson's delight was clear after England's Euro 2016 campaign was kick-started by an "amazing" finish to the derby clash with Wales.

A wonderful 35-yard free-kick from Gareth Bale gave Wales the lead at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis, only for substitute Jamie Vardy to level shortly after half-time.

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Chris Coleman's men had looked set to secure a hard-fought point from a pulsating encounter, only for Hodgson's other half-time introduction to secure a 2-1 victory in Lens.

Daniel Sturridge struck in stoppage time to send England top of Group B, putting a smile on Hodgson's face just days after Russia levelled with an injury-time goal of their own.

"It is amazing," the Three Lions boss said. "We played so well against Russia and conceded in the 93rd minute.

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"Today we worked so hard in the second half and pushed and pushed and then scored in the 92nd minute. I suppose it shows things do even out but it is rare to see them even out in the space of two games.

"If I had been watching from afar and not been with England, watching Wales play some other opponent, I would have felt very sorry for them - but they will have to excuse me not feeling sorry for them because I want to be pleased with ourselves."

It is hard to blame Hodgson given how harsh Russia's leveller felt on Saturday in Marseille, where a lack of cutting edge cost England a deserved three points.

The match against Wales looked to be following a similar pattern, only for the half-time introduction of Vardy and Sturridge to freshen things up.

Bale's opener pushed Hodgson to make those changes earlier than planned and he was understandably pleased with how that decision played out.

"Good question," the 68-year-old said with a laugh, when asked if it was the greatest double substitution of his career.

"The problem is when you've been in football a long time and had quite a long career, you find it very, very hard to remember.

"It's certainly my best double substitution of these Euros, but we've only had two games."

Hodgson now has to decide how best to approach Monday's match against Slovakia, given a draw would be enough to see his charges progress to the knockout stages.

Raheem Sterling's place is sure to come under scrutiny after another underwhelming display, with England fans occasionally groaning during the first half when the winger was on the ball.

"I pick the team on what I see and how I think people have played," Hodgson said when quizzed about Sterling.

"It seems you're suggesting there was criticism of his performance outside of our circle.

"We actually thought his performance against Russia was good. We thought he and (Adam) Lallana played well and interpreted the position well.

"So I decided, at least from the start of this game, to have faith in a team that didn't win but in my opinion should have won."

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Euro 2016
Raheem Sterling

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