England manager Roy Hodgson had little sympathy for Wales last night after his England side benefited from a last-gasp goal just days after succumbing to one.
Gareth Bale’s wonderful 35-yard free-kick gave Wales a half-time lead at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis, only for substitute Jamie Vardy to level shortly after the break.
Chris Coleman’s men had looked set to secure a hard-fought point from a pulsating encounter only for another half-time sub to secure the 2-1 victory.
Daniel Sturridge struck in stoppage time to send England top of Group B and put a smile on Hodgson’s face, days after Russia levelled with an injury-time goal of their own.
“It is amazing,” Hodgson said: “We played so well against Russia and conceded in the 93rd minute.
“Today we worked so hard in the second half and pushed and pushed and then scored in the 92nd minute. I suppose it shows things do even out but it is rare to see them even out in the space of two games.
“If I had been watching from afar and not been with England and watching Wales play some other opponent I would have felt very sorry for them but they will have to excuse me not feeling sorry for them because I want to be pleased with ourselves.”
Bale’s opener pushed Hodgson to introduce Vardy and Sturridge earlier than planned and he was understandably pleased with how that decision played out.
“Good question,” the 68-year-old said with a laugh, when asked if it was the best double substitution of his career.
“The problem is when you’ve been in football a long time you find it very, very hard to remember. It’s certainly my best double substitution of these Euros, but we’ve only had two games.
“Substitutions are going to play a major part in this tournament. The games come thick and fast. Each team has 23 players, in those 23, there’ll be a lot of players who feel hard done by when not selected and feel maybe they should’ve been selected.”
Hodgson’s side face Slovakia on Monday, with a draw enough to see them progress to the knockout stage.