England 2-1 Wales: Sturridge grabs injury-time winner to send England top of Group B

England came from behind to beat Wales 2-1 thanks to goals from half-time replacements Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge

England 2-1 Wales: Sturridge grabs injury-time winner to send England top of Group B
Daniel Sturridge wheels away after scoring a late winner for England over Wales (image via: Getty)
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England: Hart, Walker, Smalling, Cahill, Rose, Dier, Alli, Rooney, Lallana (Rashford 73'), Kane (Vardy 45'), Sterling (Sturridge 45').
Wales : Hennessey, Chester, A. Williams, Davies, Gunter, Ledley (Edwards 67'), Allen, Taylor, Ramsey, Bale, Robson-Kanu (J. Williams 72').
SCORE: 0-1 Bale 42, 1-1 Vardy 56, 2-1 Sturridge 90+1.
REFEREE: Dr. Felix Brych (GER). Cautioned: Davies.

England left it late before seeing off Wales 2-1 in Lens, with half-time replacement Daniel Sturridge slotting home in injury-time to send the English top of Group B. 

Having fallen behind to a long-distance free-kick just before the break from Gareth Bale, Roy Hodgson elected to bring on Sturridge and Jamie Vardy at half-time, and it paid off with both men finding the back of the net. 

Vardy smashed home from close range following a poor backwards header from Welsh skipper Ashley Williams to level the game, before Sturridge slotted the ball home in the dying moments to grab the come from behind victory. 

England celebrate Sturridge's late winner (image via: Paul Ellis/Getty)

Bale nails set piece once more as Welsh take surprise lead

With Wales sitting deep and seemingly content with frustrating their British rivals, it was no surprise that Hodgson's side began to carve out chances early on at the Stade Bollaert-Delelsis.

The first big chance fell to Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling, who was later removed at half-time after another disappointing performance. A smart ball by Harry Kane set Adam Lallana free down the right, and he teed the ball up perfectly for Sterling in the centre, only for the attacker to fluff his finish. 

The chances kept coming for England throughout the first-half with centre-backs Gary Cahill and Chris Smalling both going close with headers from Wayne Rooney set-pieces. 

It was Chris Coleman's side however who went into the lead at half-time following a long-range free-kick. A Rooney foul on Hal Robson-Kanu saw Bale place the ball around 35 yards out, with the Real Madrid star then striking the ball on goal and managing to do enough to beat Joe Hart in the England goal who will feel he should have done better. 

Gareth Bale fires Wales ahead (image via: getty)

Vardy draws sides level before Sturridge secures dramatic win

Sterling and Kane were replaced at the break following disappointing performances in the first-half, and the changes had close to an instant impact. 

Jamie Vardy scores England's equaliser (image via: getty)

A ball into the box fell perfectly to replacement forward Jamie Vardy, with the Leicester City man thumping the ball past Wayne Hennessey for the equaliser ten minutes into the second-half. Replays showed that it was Ashley Williams who headed the ball down to Vardy, meaning Welsh protests that the frontman was offside were rightly waved away by the officials.

England continued to push forward, with Kyle Walker in particular marauding down the flank at will from his right-back position. The patient build-up though was not leading to many opportunities and Hodgson went for broke, bringing on Manchester United teenager Marcus Rashford for Lallana with around 15 minutes remaining. 

Just as England's dominance seemed set to only bag them a point once more, a ball broke to Dele Alli in the box who managed to shift the ball to Sturridge. The Liverpool man beat a defender before finding space to unleash an unstoppable shot into the back of the net, sparking scenes of delerium amongst the England fans. 

Having conceded late to Russia on Saturday in Marseille, it was England this time who got to enjoy the rewards of a late goal, which means they now sit top of Group B ahead of their final group game against Slovakia on Monday evening.