England advance, Slovakia wait after goalless stalemate

Mon Jun 20, 2016 6:49pm EDT
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By Mark Trevelyan

ST ETIENNE, France (Reuters) - England put Slovakia on the rack for long spells but were forced to settle for a 0-0 draw on Monday, frustrating coach Roy Hodgson as his side reached the knockout stages despite slipping behind Wales in their group at Euro 2016.

England's failure to beat Slovakia, who came third in Group B, and should also go through to the last 16, means they will now face the runners-up in Group F instead of a potentially easier tie against one of the third-placed teams.

"It's certainly very disappointing that once again we've had all of the play and a lot of opportunities in and around the Slovakia box and we've not been able to take one," Hodgson told a news conference.

"I can't deny that's both frustrating and disappointing. It's something we'll have to continue to work on, but I believe it will come because I think we have players in the team who can score goals and who will score goals."

England have five points, behind Wales, who beat Russia 3-0, on six, and will play their last 16 tie in Nice on June 27.

Slovakia, on four points, must wait to see if they go through as one of the four best third-placed teams.

"England have very good attacking quality," said goalkeeper Matus Kozacik, who was man of the match.

"We needed at least one point and managed to get it, and I hope with the four points we'll manage to get through."   Continued...

Football Soccer - Slovakia v England - EURO 2016 - Group B - Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Etienne, France - 20/6/16 Slovakia's Juraj Kucko and England's Wayne Rooney in action REUTERS/Max Rossi