Wales manager Chris Coleman has admitted Daniel Sturridge’s late winner for England was one of the lowest moments of his entire career.
Gareth Bale’s 35-yard free-kick at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis in Lens put the Dragons halfway towards the win they knew would secure progress to the knockout stages.
However, England’s half-time changes swung the thrilling Group B encounter, with Jamie Vardy levelling from close range before Daniel Sturridge struck in stoppage time to seal a memorable 2-1 win.
Roy Hodgson’s men enjoyed the lion’s share of the play but the timing of the winner left Coleman crestfallen.
Asked if it was one of the lowest moments of his career as a player or manager, the Wales boss said: “Yes, yes. I’d have to say yeah, to be honest, when you come that close.
“You know you’re going to be up against it from the start, it was a tough game. But we did everything we could to keep them at bay and even when they got the equaliser, they had possession but I think Wayne pulled off one save.
“They pressed and probed but we weren’t stretched too badly. For the dying seconds to lose it there, I can’t say I’ve felt that disappointed too many times in my career as I did when that goal went in.”
Coleman knows Wales can ill-afford to allow the disappointment to fester.
Beating Slovakia 2-1 in their first ever European Championship finals match puts them second in Group B, setting up a crunch clash with Russia in Toulouse.
“Of course we’ve watched Russia,” Coleman said of Monday’s opponents, whose manager Leonid Slutsky was at Thursday’s match.
“I think it’s an exciting group this one because it’s all on that last game for all of us, Slovakia and England, Wales and Russia.
“Russia could have got something out of the game against Slovakia. They started a bit late, the last 20 minutes they put pressure on Slovakia.
“We know what Slovakia are all about, they’re a good team, so it won’t be easy for England either. It’s all on this last game. Russia have experience. They’ll be hurting after the defeat against Slovakia, but it’s all on this last game.
“It’s whichever team are able to put the disappointment behind them from this middle game will be the ones to prevail.”
Coleman expects Joe Ledley to be available for Monday’s match, having limped off 67 minutes into his first start since fracturing a leg just five weeks ago.
“Joe had a bang,” the Wales boss said. “We think he’s going to be all right. He just had a bit of a bang on (his leg).
“It wasn’t the first time in the game he’d had a bit of a whack but we think he’s going to be okay.”