If England’s first match of Euro 2016 was very Spurs, their second was a little bit Leicester City. Gareth Bale put Wales up 1-0 just before halftime with his second goal from a free kick in this tournament and it looked like England were going down an all too familiar road of embarrassment.
0 – #ENG have never won a game at a major tournament, having been behind at half-time. Bleak.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 16, 2016
But instead of resigning themselves to the inevitable, England went all in. Literally. They put all their strikers on the pitch.
Jamie Vardy, Daniel Sturridge, and even 18-year-old Marcus Rashford came on during the second half and Roy Hodgson’s desperation paid off. Vardy equalized in the 56th minute, infusing the team with a bit of the self-belief that carried Leicester to an improbable Premier League title last season. And in the 91st minute, Sturridge scored the winner to put England top of the group 45 minutes after they looked set to be bottom of it.
Does this mean England have turned a corner? That their days of inventing ways to disappoint a nation are behind them? There’s a long way to go before they prove that. But formal planning for a victory parade has probably begun.
In conclusion, here’s a photo of one of Wayne Rooney’s sons intently gazing into an iPhone instead of watching his dad launch ill-advised crossfield passes all day.