Thu | Aug 17, 2017

England hit back to clip Wales

Published:Friday | June 17, 2016 | 6:00 AM
England’s Jamie Vardy celebrates after scoring his side’s first goal yesterday during the Euro 2016 Group B match between England and Wales at the Bollaert stadium in Lens, France.

LENS, France (AP):

Five days after his substitutions failed to secure the points against Russia, England coach Roy Hodgson made no mistake with his half-time choices against Wales at the European Championship.

Hodgson, who has a reputation for being conservative in his team tactics, finished yesterday's game with three forwards up front, supported by Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney as a playmaker.

Two of those substitutes, Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge, scored the goals in a 2-1 comeback victory that transformed England's campaign in Group B.

"We made the decision (on the substitutes) early. It was the right decision," Hodgson said.

"We were anxious to inject a little bit more tempo and pace into our game, and we were anxious to persuade the players to take a few more risks and to show more confidence in themselves in the penalty area," Hodgson said.

Trailing 1-0 after Gareth Bale again found the net with a long-range free kick at Euro 2016, Hodgson replaced Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling at the break for Vardy and Sturridge.

Vardy equalised just 11 minutes later, and Sturridge won it in stoppage time.

"They responded very well," said Hodgson, who sent on teenage striker Marcus Rashford for Adam Lallana in the 73rd minute.

Vardy is coming off an astonishing season in which he helped Leicester defy the odds by going from relegation candidates to Premier League champions.

"He obviously has a lot of confidence," Hodgson said of the Leicester striker.

The boldness of Hodgson's decisions contrasted with Saturday's 1-1 draw with Russia.

Then, he waited till the 78th minute to replace Rooney with Jack Wilshire, and until the 87th to send on James Milner for Sterling. Leading 1-0 at the time, England conceded a stoppage-time equaliser.

Other results: Northern Ireland 2 Ukraine 0; Germany 0 Poland 0.