LATE WINNER: England’s Daniel Sturridge celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal during the Euro 2016 Group B soccer match between England and Wales at the Bollaert Stadium in Lens, France.
LATE WINNER: England’s Daniel Sturridge celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal during the Euro 2016 Group B soccer match between England and Wales at the Bollaert Stadium in Lens, France. Kirsty Wigglesworth

Rooney lauds teammates for dramatic win

FOOTBALL: England skipper Wayne Rooney believes the depth of Roy Hodgson’s squad was key to defeating Wales in the Euro 2016 clash.

England now needs just a point against Slovakia on Tuesday morning (AEST) to secure qualification to the last 16 but may have already done enough to get through after a come-from-behind 2-1 success.

Half-time substitutes Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge (in the second minute of stoppage time) scored the goals as England fought back from conceding the first goal to a long-range Gareth Bale free-kick just before the break.

Hodgson took a gamble in bringing off Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane but it paid off as Vardy turned home a Sturridge cross that was headed back to the Leicester striker by Welsh captain Ashley Williams, before the Liverpool man squeezed the ball past Wayne Hennessey to complete the turnaround.

“We know as a group we are not just 11 men,” Rooney said.

“We have 23 who are all capable and trust each other to do a job.

“We played some great stuff, it is a great victory and a fully deserved one.

“Now we need to finish the job off.”

Wales can still qualify for the knockout stage with a point against Russia in its final group game.

In other matches, Northern Ireland made history, taking its first victory at a European Championships.

Goals from West Brom defender Gareth McAuley and Niall McGinn sealed the win over Ukraine, and three points on Wednesday morning (AEST) against world champion Germany, which drew 0-0 with Poland, will secure a spot in the last 16.

Michael O’Neill’s men might have already done enough to qualify as one of the four best third-placed teams.


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