Wales and England finally go to the next stage of Euro 2016 after the final Group B match on Tuesday. Wales defeated Russia with 0-3, while England and Slovakia ended with a 0-0 draw.
Wales defeated Russia fearlessly with 3-0 in their first European Championship since 1958. For the team, this is historical since they have not played the major tournament for more than 50 years. The last time Wales entered knockout stages of an international competition was in Brazil during the 1958 World Cup quarter-finals.
“We said we didn’t want to make the numbers up,” said Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale. He added, “Well, we can’t do any more than win the group. We look forward to seeing who we play next.”
The team gives a good finish ahead with Aaron Ramsey’s beautiful clipped finish plus Neil Taylor and Chris Coleman’s scores in the first-half. The three players’ combined scores made Wales win their first major game.
Wales boss Chris Coleman says, “The three points are massive for us but the performance was even sweeter than the points.”
“My players were brave. I don’t mean without the ball; I mean brave in possession. We were brilliant without the ball against England, but with it, we didn’t play like we know we could,” he added.
He cites that the entire experience of winning the match against Russia with massive 3-0 result is part of the team’s wonderful journey to their success.
Coleman also mentions on how the team sees the perspective on facing their next opponent.
“I’m absolutely made up for the players. This group are on their way to more success and this is just part of the journey they are on. We have to see who we get next but we play with no fear. When we play like that, why should we have any fear?” he says.
With England’s draw against Slovakia disappoints manager Roy Hodgson who is criticized for the six changes including resting captain Wayne Rooney. He feels frustrated with the resolute Slovakian defense.
He says with absolute positivism, “We’re not doomed yet. Who is to say the team we will play will be that much stronger? The way we are playing I am not frightened of anybody.”
BBC notes Hodgson’s decision on making changes in the game like resting the Rooney makes it more difficult for England to go deeper for Euro 2016 tournament.
From the first 55 minutes, Jack Wilshere struggled and Rooney came. However, Slovakia’s strong defense makes it more difficult for England’s players to break in the first-half.
The source states that Hodgon’s decision kills the team’s momentum wherein he created a mass alteration such as leaving out Rooney, Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane.
It might be that this decision can be tough and controversial, Hodgson must assure England to win. Unfortunately, he didn’t.
Hodgson says, “If he had won the game people would say we didn’t miss them [the players who were left out] and when we don’t they say the team selection is wrong, I am used to that one.”
In response, Slovakia coach Jan Kozak states, “Our players tired as the game went on and England showed their quality and strength, but when you see an opportunity you give everything you can.”
“Perhaps I didn’t expected to be pressed so deeply but we made some substitutions to neutralize the impact of their attack,” he continued.
In summary, in UEFA Euro 2016 Group B score tally, Wales tops with 6 points, England with 5, Slovakia with 4, and Russia with 1 point.
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