Euro 2012 Scores: England's Magnificant Comeback Will Propel It to Deep Run
Survive and advance is the name of the game and that’s exactly what England did on Friday against Sweden in its 3-2 thrilling victory in Group D action.
Fans of England still aren’t breathing regularly after the defense suffered a major collapse in the second half, giving up two goals in the span of 10 minutes and allowing Sweden to capture a 2-1 lead.
Then Theo Walcott entered the game.
An incredible goal and equally impressive assists to Danny Welbeck later and England is now in prime position to advance out of Group D. The team is a tie or France loss away from advancing as either the No. 1 or No. 2 team in the group.
The three goals are the most in a tournament game since beating Croatia 4-2 in Euro 2004.
After England got an incredibly disappointing performance from James Milner, who looked slow and tentative, Walcott picked up the slack and has infused some serious energy into this club.
He may not have any experience at an event like this, but it sounds like he is ready for more of it (via Reuters.com): “It was my first appearance in such a high-profile arena. I've been waiting a while. I hope there are more chances for me.”
The 23-year-old is suddenly a big part of this club, which is certainly not a bad thing. The sprinter strikes fear into the opponent with his blazing fast speed and ability to keep up a frenetic pace while dribbling. His passing proficiency and finishing ability was his big question mark. Now those doubts have vanished in the span of 15 minutes.
He finally got his chance and made the most of it—time to ride the hot hand.
Aside from the mental lapse by the defense early in the second half, the club has played fundamentally sound and has the passion and energy you’d like to see in such an important event. Milner was a clear weak link that shouldn’t play at all in the next match if you ask me.
England needed the upgrade in speed and now has an offense that is among the best in the entire tournament.
How Will England End Group Play?
If England is able to advance, the likely opponent will be either Spain or Croatia from Group C. With the way Spain dominated in their last performance, avoiding them at all costs is the safe bet.
While the team will need to cross its fingers that Sweden can actually register some sort of point in the grouping, there is no question the English squad is riding plenty of momentum and their confidence is steadily rising.
Any time you can erase a late-game deficit and emerge victorious the team becomes a tad closer, knowing they can fight adversity. Friday was a big step for this club, and expect it to propel them to the quarterfinals and beyond.
This is a very dangerous squad at the moment.
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