Bellingham's Last-Minute Goal Rescues England

Bellingham's Last-Minute Goal Rescues England
Bellingham's Last-Minute Goal Rescues England

England's Jude Bellingham was not only proud to score a last-gasp bicycle kick equalizer to help rescue his side from Euro 2024 elimination in their last-16 clash with Slovakia but also to silence what he thinks are unjustified critics of the team.

Slovakia had faded as the game drew on and went closest to an equalizer of their own just before halftime in extra time, when Peter Pekarik sent a dangerous cross over the bar.

England seemed unable to get a foothold against a relentless Slovakia outfit who took the lead with an Ivan Schranz strike on the counter in the 25th minute.

But Bellingham's effort took the match to extra time, with Harry Kane heading home for a 2-1 win.

"In international football, in knockout football, it's even a worse feeling because you're 30 seconds from going home and have to listen to all the rubbish, feeling like you've let a nation of people down," Bellingham told a press conference.

"But in 30 seconds, one kick to the ball and everything can change... It's a feeling that I never want and I don't like to be in. But when it's done, it feels great.

England repelled a late wave of balls into the box to secure a fortunate victory and set up a quarter-final clash with Switzerland in Duesseldorf on Saturday.

England, who will next face Switzerland, had come back to win their last three Euro games in which they conceded first, including the last edition's semi-final, and thought they were level shortly after the break but Phil Foden was clearly offside before tapping home.

They will, however, need to be far better against the Swiss, who outplayed defending champions Italy in the last-16 and were unfortunate to concede a late equalizer against Germany in the group stage.