What seemed to be an uninspired display of football over 90 minutes turned into an epic story as England came from behind to beat Wales by 2 goals from their substitutes as Gareth Bale’s magic wasn’t enough to save the Welsh side.
The match began brightly for England as they continued to push in numbers forward trying to break down the Welsh defence in the opening minutes and had a fantastic chance to open the scoring when Raheem Sterling missed from close range after being fed in from the right by Adam Lallana in the 7th minute.
Hal Robson-Kanu and bale tried to combine for Wales but were rendered ineffective against the English defence. England continued to maintain possession and push forward, displaying plenty of attacking skill but to no avail.
The match soon lost intensity but it was still England providing a one-way traffic, with Cahill’s header saved by Joe Hart off a Wayne Rooney free kick in the 26th minute and Smalling heading wide from a Rooney corner in the 30th.
With both the sides losing their intensity, it wasn’t the most interesting of clashes until the 42nd minute when Gareth Bale provided a moment of pure magic for Wales.
Standing over a free kick almost 40 yards out, Bale unleashed a vicious shot which dipped and went into the net after a touch from Joe Hart. It was a goal to remember from Bale, who has been renowned for his free kicks, scoring a free kick in his previous national fixture as well.
The second half started for England with two substitutions which changed the game. Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge came in for Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane. England had the stats and the possession but the goals were yet to follow.
England began the second half in similar fashion with plenty of attacking display but it wasn’t until the 56th minute that they found the net via Jamie Vardy, who thumped in from close range in a questionably offside position.
England were rejuvenated with the goal and continued to search for the winner as the Wales defence tried to absorb the pressure, with Sturridge and Alli continuing their runs and attempting to unsettle the Welsh defence.
The last 18-20 minutes of the game offered nothing substantial until the 92nd minute which offered a dramatic late winner. It was a well-constructed goal as Sturridge popped a ball into the box and continued his run inside and poked a shot at Joe Hart’s near post after an exchange of passes between Jamie Vardy and Dele Alli.
Wales’ wait of winning against England continued as the final scoreline overshadowed a dogged display from both the sides, where opportunism and poacher instincts came in more handy than finesse, creativity and flair.
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