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HomeSportEuro 2024: England secure dramatic comeback win over Slovakia to clinch QF...

Euro 2024: England secure dramatic comeback win over Slovakia to clinch QF berth

Berlin, July 1: Jude Bellingham’s stoppage time equaliser forced Slovakia into overtime and allowed Harry Kane to head the 2-1 decider in Euro 2024 last 16 at Gelsenkirchen’s Arena AufSchalke on Sunday. Offensively-minded Slovakia surprised England with a powerful opening period and came close twice but neither David Hancko nor Lukas Haraslin was able to break the deadlock despite promising chances.

Slovakia’s efforts eventually paid off as David Strelec’s good build-up work and assist helped Ivan Schranz to break the deadlock with 25 minutes into the game. It was Schranz’s third goal of the tournament. The Three Lions tried to increase the pressure but failed to turn their 77 percent of possession into a tangible reward in the first half. Things changed after the restart as Gareth Southgate’s men thought they had leveled the scores with just five minutes into the second half.

However, Phil Foden’s goal was ruled offside. England was lucky that Slovakia didn’t double its lead as Strelec’s long-range shot missed the empty net just wide moments later. As the match progressed, England lacked in ideas to overcome Slovakia’s compact defence albeit Declan Rice rattled the woodwork from a distance in the 81st minute, reports Xinhua.

Francesco Calzona’s boys tried to protect their narrow lead to the end but got punished late in the dying seconds as Bellingham drilled the stoppage time equalizer with an overhead kick into the top right corner to stun resilient Slovakia. Things went from bad to worse for Slovakia as the Three Lions completed their comeback with the kick-off of the overtime, as Kane headed home his 65th goal for England to seal the quarterfinal encounter against Switzerland. “It is a massive moment, but it’s a long tournament and we will only know it if we go on to win the cup. We will decide in the next two weeks how important it is,” said Bellingham. “I feel proud, we played a great game against a world-class team and one of the favorites. We allowed England very little, we almost advanced.

Unfortunately, we didn’t make it,” said Slovakia coach Calzona. England will now face Switzerland in the quarterfinal in Dusseldorf on July 6.



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