England 1 – 1 Russia
The tough part of reviewing a tournament opener is not knowing whether a dominant team is that strong or a dominated team that weak.
Denis Glushakov made that a whole lot more difficult, scoring in the second minute of stoppage time to steal a point for dominated Russia in a 1-1 draw in Marseille on Saturday.
England may’ve forgotten its finishing boots, but the Three Lions towered over Russia on Saturday in France. Eric Dier‘s free kick broke England through for what appeared to be a win, before a late chance ended up behind Joe Hart.
England next faces victorious Wales on Thursday — Gareth Bale is salivating at the chance — while Russia turns around for Slovakia a day earlier.
Adam Lallana hammered a shot at Igor Akinfeev in the first 10 minutes, but the Liverpool man’s offering was moved clear of goal for a corner.
And Chris Smalling rode Kane’s corner to Akinfeev as well, while veteran Russia defender Sergei Ignashevich stung Joe Hart’s hands with a header at the other end.
Kane provided Raheem Sterling with a break, but the latter took a touch too much in the box and saw his terrific chance tackled away.
England’s best chances falling to Sterling & Lallana so far. Out of the attacking players, those 2 are the least natural finishers.
England’s defense was expecting to be its weak point, but Gary Cahill and Chris Smalling stood strong in the middle… until the final moments.
The attack, however, was missing its finishing touch. Sterling was especially wasteful, and Wayne Rooney was robbed by Akinfeev before Lallana smashed the rebound off the post in the 71st minute.
England won a free kick on the edge of the 18, and Dier smashed it home. The Tottenham man delivered past a questionably positioned Igor Akinfeev. Nevermind the goalkeeper, Dier had done what Sterling and Lallana could not: put one home.
But Glushakov tapped Aleksei Berezutski’s header over the line — don’t be surprised to see the goal credited to the latter when all is said and done — and England was left scratching its collective head.