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England Come From Behind To Beat Wales 2-1 In A Match That Defied History

It was all so close to going gloriously, pathetically, predictably wrong for England. They put in a first half against Wales that was reminiscent of everything that England had ever done wrong in the past: there was talent on the field, more talent than the opposition, but England not only couldn’t get ahead, they found themselves behind. When Gareth Bale sent in his deep, deep free-kick past Joe hart, who maybe should have done better, it seemed like history was doomed to repeat itself.

But in the second half England manager Roy Hodgson introduced Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge into the game. It was then that the tide started to turn.

England had a problem penetrating with its possession, but Sturridge added some aggressive touches and Vardy, well Vardy did what Vardy does, he got close to the goal and scored.

Can we all just pause for a moment and appreciate that it took probably the world’s first cinderella-but-also-a-racist story to change the status quo for England. It was Vardy who stepped up and pulled England out of its failure complex, and after his goal England always seemed like it would score again. 

Of course, England being England they let the suspense build. Sturridge didn’t score his winner until the 92nd minute, but that made the moment all that more ecstatic. 

Somehow England have defied tradition and come through in the clutch. This team, this youthful team came into Euro 2016 with all the optimism of teams past, as well as all of the lurking expectations of failure. England teams choke at major competitions; it’s almost written in stone in the minds of England fans. But this team has changed that today. 

England Wales daniel sturridge goal game winner celebration

Photo: @ESPNFC | Twitter

They will hope that change lasts more than a day.

It’s hard to see England crashing out of the group stages at this point, in fact they must be considered favorites to win the group at this point, as they currently sit in first and face a winnable match against Slovakia to end the group stage. 

There is still plenty of time left for England to choke: a mentality that plenty of England fans will still have. But this team, this team has shown that it can defy that mentality and the history that it is founded on. 

Here’s hoping they continue to do so. 

Follow me on Twitter: @yetly

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