Here we go with the second group of this summer's European Championships in France. Yesterday we saw France claim the top of Group A despite a loss to minnows Albania, so what's in store for group B which includes England, Russia, Wales and Slovakia?
Wales vs. Slovakia - Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux- June 11, 2016
With high hopes in only their second major tournament (first since participating in the 1958 World Cup in Sweden) the Welsh got off to a great start with Gareth Bale scoring in the 20th minute, to secure a 1-0 lead for Wales; a lead the side would take into half-time. But it seemed that the Welsh had fallen asleep to start the second, with Slovakia picking up two goals in rapid fire, with Lokomotiv Moscow defender Ján Ďurica and Napoli midfielder Marek Hamšík scoring in the 45th and 46th minutes respectively. Despite the setback, the Welsh controlled the game once more, as Bale got on the scoresheet for a second time in the 74th to score the final goal of the match.
Final Score: Wales 2-2 Slovakia
England vs. Russia - Stade Vélodrome, Marseille - June 11, 2016
With all the hype of Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy joining the Three Lions for the first time in a major tournament, England's opener sure disappointed as neither side was able to get on the scoreboard. Joe Hart and Igor Akinfeev were the winners on the day and Roy Hodgson seems content that the Russian's weren't able to expose his side's often questionable defense.
Final Score: England 0-0 Russia
Russia vs. Slovakia - Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille - June 15, 2016
After draws across the board in the first set of matches, it was time to pick up some meaningful points. The Russians managed to take a lead in the 17th minute with a goal from Aleksandr Kokorin; a one goal lead the Russian enjoyed at the half. The Slovak's came back in the second as they did against the Welsh, with midfielder Róbert Mak leveling the score. But a full comeback was not in the stars for Slovakia on this day as the Russians proved to be too strong with striker Artyom Dzyuba regaining the lead for his side in the 72nd to give Russia the full 3 points.
Final Score: Russia 2-1 Slovakia
England vs. Wales - Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Lens - June 16, 2016
The highly anticipated match between neighbours Wales and England meant more frustration for England supporters as their side were once more unable to put the ball in their opponent's net. Despite their ability to record a second consecutive clean-sheet, Hodgson's strikers Kane, Vardy and Rooney are shooting blanks. England and Wales are now tied on 2 points with the Welsh having to play group leaders Russia while England is taking on Slovakia on the last day of Group B matches.
Final Score: England 0-0 Wales
Slovakia vs. England - Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Étienne- June 20, 2016
222 minutes is how long it took England to get on the scoreboard at the Euro 2016 tournament as Harry Kane put the ball in the back of the net in the 42nd minute of the match. With Slovakia not testing the English defence or goal all that often Eric Dier's screamer in the 65th minute sealed the deal for the Three Lions as they picked up their first win, and their third consecutive clean-sheet.
Final Score:Slovakia 0-2 England
Russia vs. Wales - Stadium Municipal, Toulouse - June 20, 2016
Wales' shot of qualifying to the next stage took a huge blow as they conceded the first goal of the match in the 38th minute to Artyom Dzyuba's second of the tournament while four minutes later the Welsh fans heard of England's goal in their match with Slovakia. In the 55th however, chances seemed to pick up as Aaron Ramsey put one in the back of the Russian net. But Leonid Slutsky's side proved to be too strong, with defender Sergei Ignashevich and midfielder Igor Denisov handing Wales a loss that is likely to see them out of the tournament.
Final Score: Russia 3-1 Wales
|Wins||Draws||Losses||Gls For||Gls Against||Goal Dif.||Pts|
Russia's energy on the pitch proved to be good enough for first place in the group, but England's lack of creativity up front didn't knock Roy Hodgson's side out of the competition mainly due to Wales' and Slovakia's poor performances. With just 2 points from their three matches, the Welsh are now long-shots for the quarter-finals as they would need two of the remaining five 3rd placed teams to have a worse record than them.