Bellingham rescues England in extra-time win over brave Slovakia

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England 2-1 Slovakia AET

Jude Bellingham rescued England from crashing out of Euro 2024 against Slovakia with a stunning 95th-minute equaliser before Harry Kane’s early extra-time winner sent the sub-par pre-tournament favourites into the quarter-finals.

Slovakia started far sharper than England and gave their opponents several warnings before Ivan Schranz placed a deft finish past goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in the 25th minute.

England, who will next face Switzerland, had come back to win their last three Euro games in which they conceded first, including the last edition’s semi-final, and thought they were level shortly after the break but Phil Foden was clearly offside before tapping home.

Ivan Schranz fires Slovakia in front in Gelsenkirchen.

Harry Kane uncharacteristically headed a Foden free kick wide and Declan Rice hit the post as Slovakia were pinned deep in their own half late on, though England seemed to lack belief as their fans grew ever more frustrated.

But Bellingham, a day after his 21st birthday, equalised with an incredible bicycle kick at the death to take the game to extra time with England’s first shot on target.

And England took less than a minute after the restart to take the lead when Kane headed past the despairing Martin Dubravka from close range to complete a remarkable turnaround.

Bellingham’s acrobatic effort brings England level at the death.

Slovakia had faded as the game drew on and went closest to an equaliser of their own just before halftime in extra time, when Peter Pekarik kneed a dangerous cross over the bar.

England repelled a late wave of balls into the box to secure a fortunate victory and set up a quarter-final clash with Switzerland in Duesseldorf on Saturday.

They will, however, need to be a far better against the Swiss, who outplayed defending champions Italy in the last-16 and were unfortunate to concede a late equaliser against Germany in the group stage.

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