England survive scare to reach Euro quarter-finals

England survive scare to reach Euro quarter-finals

Jude Bellingham produced a moment of genius to keep England in Euro 2024 as they survived another desperate display and a huge scare to beat Slovakia 2-1 in dramatic fashion to reach the last eight.

England were seconds away from an embarrassing exit in Gelsenkirchen as Slovakia defended a lead they had held since the 25th minute when Ivan Schranz raced into the box to poke a low finish past England keeper Jordan Pickford.

It was then that Bellingham, who celebrated his 21st birthday on Saturday, demonstrated the brilliance that has made him England’s new superstar by going airborne in the penalty area to send Marc Guehi’s headed flick past Martin Dubravka with a stunning overhead kick.

Bellingham rescued England from a performance that plumbed such depths that his goal was their first effort on target – but then set the platform for a victory as Slovakia, who had defended so stubbornly, were left stunned.

And captain Harry Kane emphasised England’s sudden superiority a minute into the extra 30 minutes when he headed home from close range to complete a remarkable turnaround and set up a quarter-final meeting with Switzerland.

England’s display before Bellingham’s wonder goal was another to add to the catalogue of mediocrity they have delivered under Gareth Southgate in Germany, even though Kane had missed an easy header and Declan Rice struck a post as they strived for the equaliser.

Bellingham, the young man with the Midas touch, came up with the goods to save them at the death as England’s stuttering Euro 2024 journey goes on. (BBC)

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