Ramon Vega exclusive: Hodgson shows his worth against Wales

The Wales forward, who scored with free kicks in each of his previous matches at the European Championship, will be looking for another when his team plays Russian Federation in their final Group B match on Monday.

Two of those substitutes, Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge, scored the goals in a 2-1 comeback victory that transformed England's campaign in Group B.

But Wales have another chance to reach the last 16 when they play Russian Federation on Monday - and Bale owned up to some unusual preparation ahead of the Toulouse showdown.

Wales could even qualify if they are beaten by Russian Federation, but Chris Coleman's side would then be relying on other results.

"There is always three games", said Wales manager Coleman.

"The danger of this one being the middle one was everyone was looking at this - the Battle of Britain", Coleman explained.

"I said before the game we respect Wales as a nation and as a football team".

"After the England game we chose to go out for lunch as a group, the staff and players", said Bale.

"The fashion we lost it was a bitter pill to swallow, but you have to get over it". "They are a good team who work it; they had a lot of the ball but did not really hurt us much".

First off, Gareth Bale and his superb left foot scored a second direct free-kick in this tournament that put the Welch on top at the break 1-0. With England trailing at half-time against Wales, the 26-year-old was introduced for the second half along with Jamie Vardy.

"It would be foolish in the warm glow of having won a game so late on.to start trying to make too many statements about what my plans are against Slovakia", he added.

"If I had been watching from afar and not been with England and watching Wales play some other opponent I would have felt very sorry for them but they will have to excuse me not feeling sorry for them because I want to be pleased with ourselves". If we had drawn, we would have had to beat Slovakia and they look a decent side and it would have been a real pressure game. "To lose it like that was gut-wrenching for the players and our supporters".

After drawing 1-1 against Russian Federation in their Euro opener, England came back strongly from a goal down to beat Wales 2-1 on Thursday.

Wales is a point back, above Slovakia on head-to-head record, and needs to beat Russian Federation to guarantee one of the two automatic qualifying berths.


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