A 91st-minute goal from Daniel Sturridge helped England beat Wales 2-1 in the Euro 2016 “Battle of Britain clash” in Lens on Thursday, after goals from Gareth Bale and Jamie Vardy had tied the rivals.
A free kick from Bale a few minutes before half-time gave Wales the lead, following which substitute Jamie Vardy equalised for England after the break.
The win puts England on top of Group B, with four points from their two games, while Wales are second on three points with one loss and one victory.
Prior to this game, the two rivals had contested against each other just four times in this century. In 101 meetings between the teams, England have lost on only 14 occasions. Between 1946 and 1976 they tasted defeat just once in 33 encounters.
All eyes were on Wales’ superstar Bale, whose 42nd-minute free kick was spilled into goal by England ‘keeper Joe Hart. Bale had claimed in the run-up to the match that his side has “more passion” and that no English player would even get into Chris Coleman’s team.
After the break, Hodgson substituted Harry Kane with Vardy and Raheem Sterling with Daniel Sturridge and the move paid off, Vardy hitting from close range into the bottom right corner of the net within nine minutes of coming on.
Bale shone as Wales won their first-ever game in a European Championship finals 2-1 over Slovakia, with the Real Madrid ace firing home a trademark freekick.
England manager Roy Hodgson however said on Wednesday that the rivalry between the two countries would only add to the sense of the occasion.
England: Hart; Kyle Walker, Cahill, Smalling, Rose; Alli, Dier, Rooney; Lallana, Kane, Sterling
Coach: Roy Hodgson
Wales: Hennessey; Chester, Williams, Davies; Gunter, Ramsey, Allen, Ledley, Taylor; Bale; Kanu
Coach: Chris Coleman