Bellingham and Kane heroics rescue England against Slovakia


England were 86 seconds away from an embarrassing Euro 2024 exit until Jude Bellingham’s stunner inspired a 2-1 extra-time win over Slovakia in the last 16.

Bellingham, only 21 on Saturday, showed his talismanic quality yet again to haul England level with their first shot on target in the 95th minute.

His superb bicycle kick from a long throw-in beat Martin Dubravka to cancel out Ivan Schranz’s first-half opener and send the tie to extra-time.

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Rob Dorsett discusses the quality England saw from Jude Bellingham in their victory over Slovakia and looks at the issues that still need resolving before they face Switzerland in the quarter-finals.

Harry Kane then stepped up 50 seconds into the additional 30 minutes to nod home Ivan Toney’s flick and give England a victory which sets up a quarter-final with Switzerland next Saturday – kick-off 5pm – which had looked almost impossible only moments earlier.

But it could have been so different.

The recriminations were already beginning on what looked set to become another of England’s darkest nights where they were outplayed for long periods by a team ranked 45th in the world.

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Jude Bellingham scored a glorious overhead kick in the 95th minute to take England’s game against Slovakia into extra time and spark scenes of celebration across the country.

They centred around Southgate’s apparent reluctance to influence the situation unfolding in front of him, with his only substitution before the 82nd minute the introduction of Cole Palmer after Kieran Trippier was forced off with injury.

The pressure had been building ever since Schranz fired Slovakia into a first-half lead with his third goal of the tournament. The Slavia Prague winger was allowed to stride forward from midfield past Marc Guehi to meet David Strelec’s ball into the box before beating Jordan Pickford one-on-one.

England continued sleepwalking towards the exit door when Bellingham’s poor pass was intercepted by Strelec on the half-way line, and Pickford could only watch on in anguish as an ambitious effort drifted past his unguarded far post.

Southgate’s squad had come into the tournament boasting some of the world’s best attacking talent but again looked toothless in attack until the final minutes.

They did briefly think they had equalised shortly after the break when Phil Foden tapped in Trippier’s low cross, but a VAR review rapidly halted the celebrations showing he was comfortably offside.

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Sam Allardyce was full of praise for substitute Ivan Toney after his headed assist for Harry Kane’s goal which gave England a 2-1 lead over Slovakia.

Kane was guilty of wasting a rare clear-cut opportunity when he nodded Foden’s free-kick past the near post, while Declan Rice was unfortunate to hit only the base of the post with an excellent 25-yard drive.

Instead it was left to Bellingham to pick up the pieces with seconds remaining, before Kane showed his own captain’s quality in extra-time to give England – and Southgate – a reprieve for another six days at least.

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Jude Bellingham reflects on England’s dramatic victory over Slovakia and his superb overhead kick that kept England in the competition.

In pictures: Bellingham and Kane rescue England’s hopes

England's Jude Bellingham, right, scores his side's first goal with an overhead kick during a round of sixteen match between England and Slovakia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Sunday, June 30, 2024. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
Jude Bellingham scores England's equaliser with a spectacular overhead kick
England's Jude Bellingham scores his side's first goal with an overhead kick during a round of sixteen match between England and Slovakia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Sunday, June 30, 2024. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
England's Jude Bellingham celebrates after his teammate Harry Kane scores his side's second goal during a round of sixteen match between England and Slovakia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Sunday, June 30, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Harry Kane heads England in front against Slovakia
Image:
Harry Kane heads England in front against Slovakia

Harry Kane’s goal to put England 2-1 ahead was the fastest ever goal scored in extra time at the UEFA European Championship (50 seconds). The Three Lions have now scored the fastest extra time goal at both the EUROs and the FIFA World Cup (1st minute against Belgium in 1954)
England's Jude Bellingham, left, celebrates his goal with Harry Kane during a round of sixteen match between England and Slovakia at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Sunday, June 30, 2024. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Southgate: I never thought our tournament was ending

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Gareth Southgate reflects on England’s shaky victory over Slovakia to proceed to the Euro 2024 quarter-finals and what he looks to do to maintain spirit and improve performances.

England manager Gareth Southgate on ITV Sport:

“It’s strange, but I never felt like tonight would be the end of our tournament.

“Even with the long throw [from Kyle Walker], you felt there was hope. We can cause some chaos and something might drop. I didn’t think the finish would be quite what it was!

“With 15 minutes to go, you’re thinking Jude is out on he’s feet and should we take him off and put fresh legs on.

“But you know the sort of impact he can have on a game and those moments are why you stick with him at that time.

“The top players affect the big games in the moments when you need them. It’s that mentality that he has.”

Kane: Bellingham saved England’s tournament

England captain Harry Kane on ITV Sport:

“That’s the desire and attitude of the boys and everyone involved.

“It looked tough for a second there but you keep going. We work on so many details throughout the week, we put in a long throw a couple of days ago.

“We said ‘we might need it, be prepared for anything’, and Jude does what Jude does. What an unbelievable goal. It’s kept our tournament alive.

“All I can say is incredible support. I know the fans back home would’ve enjoyed that. What a win.

On Bellingham’s goal: “One of the best in our country’s history, I reckon.

“What a player he is. He works so hard for the team, there’s been a lot of talk about him over the last couple of days, but he’s showed what he can do.

“In the big moments, he’s stepped up and that’s what we need.”

Keane: Win solves nothing – but only results count

Sky Sports’ Roy Keane on ITV Sport:

“It hasn’t really solved anything [the win]. You can talk about performances, but at this level it is about getting over the line and winning.

“Everyone wants a great performance, but if they keep getting results and going through… the next game will be tough but let’s see how they go.

“You have to give them praise as we were really critical at half-time but they found a way to win. The top players found a moment.

“God help us if Bellingham starts playing well. They had two huge moments and they got themselves over the line. Credit where it’s due.”

Stats: Story of the match

Who plays who in the quarter-finals?



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