Monday, July 15, 2024

Bellingham warns England must capitalise on last-gasp heroics against Slovakia at Euro 2024

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 30 Jun 2024

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Jude Bellingham revelled in his last-gasp heroics for England but says only time will tell how important that effort was at Euro 2024.

The Real Madrid midfielder delivered a stunning overhead-kick equaliser against Slovakia, with his 94th-minute leveller sending the last-16 clash to extra time after Ivan Schranz’s first-half opener.

Harry Kane subsequently headed home just 50 seconds into the additional 30 minutes to send Gareth Southgate’s side through to the last eight with a 2-1 extra-time victory on Sunday.

Though celebrating another landmark moment in his career, Bellingham warned England must now capitalise on their salvaging act and go deeper into the tournament in Germany.

“It’s 20 or 30 seconds until we’re out of the European Championship and the mood now is a massive difference, and what it can do for the team going forward,” Bellingham told UEFA’s official website.

“It’s a massive moment, but it’s a long tournament and we’ll only know it if we go on to win the cup. We’ll decide in the next two weeks how important it is.”

Bellingham’s leveller was timed at 94 minutes and 34 seconds, the latest England goal in their European Championship history.

It was also their first shot on target of the game in Gelsenkirchen, and Bellingham says it will be one to remember.

“It’s got to be up there,” the 21-year-old said of his late strike. “There’s a few nice ones, ones that mean a lot to me personally, but this one was so important.

“Both for today and the mood change if it doesn’t happen. It’s right up there.”

England are set to meet Switzerland in the quarter-finals on Saturday in Dusseldorf, where Southgate’s side will be expected to improve.

Bellingham acknowledged those expectations weight heavy on the Three Lions, though performances like the Slovakia showing act as a “release”.

“You’re 30 seconds away from going home, feeling like you’ve let your nation down, and one kick of the ball and everything’s great,” Bellingham added.

“It’s a feeling I don’t want to be in, but when it comes, it’s a great feeling.

“Playing for England is a great thing, but it’s a lot of pressure as well. Being on the pitch and scoring goals for me is a release, it’s a very happy moment.”

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