England denied by Russia's last-gasp equaliser 1-1 in Euro 2016

12 Jun,2016


Marseille, BdChronicle:

England have waited an awfully long time to win their opening match of a European Championship and their desperation at the end of this match will be exacerbated by the way they passed up the opportunity to bury that long run. This was their ninth attempt, stretching all the way back to 1980, and Roy Hodgson's team ought to be frustrated in the extreme to have surrendered their lead

Hodgson's men had played with width and penetration and should probably have made it a more stress-free occasion bearing in mind the number of chances they failed to convert before Eric Dier's 73rd-minute free-kick. Instead the clock had ticked into its third minute of stoppage time when a cross was aimed to the far post the Russian captain, Vasili Berezutski, managed to get in between Danny Rose and Dele Alli to send a looping header into the far corner of the net.

The scenes at the end, when Russian supporters stormed the England end, will have serious ramifications but Hodgson's disappointment will come in other measures as he prepares for the game against Wales on Thursday and deliberates whether to keep his new 4-1-2-3 formation.

Rooney was so prominently involved it is difficult to imagine he will revert to being a striker. Raheem Sterling's improved form must be encouraging even if he did fade in the second half and, though there are still imperfections, Hodgson has at least put together the kind of side that England's public wanted: bold and adventurous. With Kyle Walker and Danny Rose surging forward from the full-back positions, there cannot be many other sides in the competition to play with such an attack-minded streak.

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