2016 European Championship, Group Stage 2016
  • Eric Dier (73')
  • Vasili Berezutski (90'+2')

Russia deny England with injury-time equaliser

Russia claimed a dramatic 1-1 draw against England through an injury-time leveller in their European Championship opener in Group B at Marseille's Stade Velodrome.

England, with Wayne Rooney in midfield and Jamie Vardy on the bench, adopted a positive approach and had their first sight of goal when Adam Lallana headed back for Dele Alli to strike, but the Tottenham Hotspur man could only make contact with his shin and missed the target.

Lallana then came close himself on seven minutes when, set up by Kyle Walker, he sent a rasping shot on goal that Igor Akinfeev palmed over the bar. Chris Smalling then got a header away on goal.

Russia -- whose tournament plans were thrown into disarray after injuries to Alan Dzagoev and Igor Denisov -- showed an occasional threat, most notably in the first half when Sergei Ignashevich sent a header on goal from an Oleg Shatov free kick on 17 minutes.

Lallana missed the target when played in by Walker shortly afterward, and Raheem Sterling then raced through on goal before being denied by Igor Smolnikov's last-gasp tackle. Rooney also saw a shot saved after a display of skill and tenacity from Alli out wide.

Despite their chances, the first half finished goalless, with England boss Roy Hodgson left to consider the array of attacking options available in reserve, including Vardy, Daniel Sturridge and Marcus Rashford.

Russia showed signs of improvement after the restart, and Gary Cahill needed to make a fine challenge after a pass across goal from Aleksandr Kokorin early on.

While England still had chances in the early stages of the second half, there were increasing moments of concern at the other end. Eric Dier -- who scored an own goal in the recent friendly against Australia -- forced Hart to tip over with a header toward his own net, and Fedor Smolov sent a shot just wide of the England goal with just over an hour gone.

Rooney could have given England the lead on 71 minutes when Danny Rose's low cross deflected into his path inside the area, but Akinfeev was able to divert his shot onto the crossbar. Lallana struck the post with the follow-up but was flagged offside.

They did not have to wait long, though. England were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area for a foul on Alli, and Dier unexpectedly stepped up to smash the ball past Akinfeev.

Hodgson opted to shore up the team with the introductions of midfielders Jack Wilshere and James Milner, but Russia forced a corner in injury time and Georgy Schennikov sent over a cross for Vasili Berezutski to head over Hart, with Denis Glushakov making sure.

Group B rivals Wales had earlier claimed a 2-1 victory over Slovakia in Bordeaux.

European Championship News