• Thursday, July 25, 2024

FOOTBALL

Euro knockouts: Bellingham, Harry Kane give England thrilling win over Slovakia

England are one of the favourites as they aim to end a 58-year wait for major tournament glory.

Jude Bellingham (c) of England, scores his team’s first goal with a acrobatic kick during the UEFA EURO 2024 round of 16 match against Slovakia at Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, on June 30, 2024. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

By: India Weekly

JUDE BELLINGHAM said it took one of his best-ever goals to dig England out of a huge hole as they escaped a shock Euro 2024 last 16 exit at the hands of Slovakia.

The Real Madrid midfielder’s overhead kick deep into stoppage time sent the match into extra-time, before Harry Kane’s header secured a 2-1 win for the Three Lions.

England are one of the favourites as they aim to end a 58-year wait for major tournament glory.

Read: Hosts Germany rout Denmark to reach Euro quarters after storm delays play

But Gareth Southgate’s men have been heavily criticised for their sluggish performances in Germany and were seconds away from one of their most embarrassing ever defeats at a major finals.

“It’s a feeling that is like no other,” said Bellingham of his stoppage-time strike.

Read: Georgia upset Portugal to reach Euro last 16; Belgium to face France

“In international football and in knockout football it’s an even worse feeling because you’re 30 seconds from going home and having to listen to all the rubbish and feeling like you’ve let a nation of people down.

“In 30 seconds or one kick of the ball everything can change.”

Bellingham added that his second goal of the tournament was so treasured because of the difference it makes to the national mood.

“It’s so important in terms of today, the mood change if it doesn’t happen.

“There’s a few nice ones, ones that mean a lot to me personally like my first goals for Birmingham, Dortmund and Madrid, they’re always special ones. But it’s right up there.”

Despite the result, more criticism is set to follow ahead of England’s quarter-final showdown against Switzerland.

But Bellingham disagreed his side had again looked uninspired against a team ranked 45th in the world.

“Besides their goal we were pretty good, to be honest,” he added.

“We had a lot of control, we got into really good areas, we were really dangerous. We had one or two moments where I thought we could be more clinical but in general I thought it was a good performance from us.”

(AFP)

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