Euro 2016: Gareth Bale urges Wales to 'keep fighting' after England defeat

Gareth Bale says Wales will have to keep fighting to qualify from Group B, after they suffered a 91st-minute 2-1 defeat by England.

The 26-year-old scored his second free-kick of Euro 2016 to give Wales the lead in Lens but goals from Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge gave England all three points to take them top.

"The tournament's not over yet, we're still in the thick of it," said Bale.

"We'll go into the next game [against Russia] with even more strength."

Wales led just before half-time through Bale's long-range free-kick, but substitutes Vardy and Sturridge made the difference in a tense second half.

Chris Coleman's side face Russia in their final Group B game on Monday night and can still qualify for the last 16 stage of the tournament.

"We keep fighting all the way. We knew that even if it wasn't a great result today then we're still in the thick of things," Bale continued.

"Obviously it's massively disappointing but I'm very proud of everybody. We gave everything like we always do and as I said before, if we go out and give 100% and have no regrets, then we can't do anymore.

"We're very disappointed but inside we still feel strong, we still feel happy, we're enjoying the experience, we still have one more game to go."

The result meant England leapfrogged Wales in the table, but their opening game win against Slovakia could keep them in contention of progressing through the tournament, according to Bale.

'One of those things'

Wales skipper Ashley Williams says defeat against England hurts, but the team are focussed on their match with Russia.

Wales captain Ashley Williams, who played Vardy onside for England's first goal, would not blame the work ethic of the players as they conceded an added-time goal.

"There's a little defection and a quick snapshot finish. It was a good finish but it wasn't that we switched off, it was just one of those things really," Williams said.

"It hurts, obviously, just like for the fans and everyone involved. We were close to another point but we didn't get it.

"That's football sometimes and we've all felt like this before, this one a little bit more but we'll have to get over it, we stick together as a squad and carry on.

"You haven't done enough until the final whistle blows, we've seen late goals in this tournament already and we're need to concentrate and keep focussed right up until the last whistle."

Bouncing back after the 'middle game'

Coleman denied the result would be a major setback for Wales as they look to qualify from the group in their first major international tournament for 58 years.

"We are here to get through to the last 16. If you are from Wales, you always looked at this game because it is England but for me it is the middle game of three. We move on and have to show a reaction against Russia," Coleman told BBC Sport.

"A point for us would have fantastic. They are a very good team, very strong. Congrats to Roy, he made some good substitutions and we knew they would push us back.

"Most of the time we looked quite strong and although they had a lot of possession I wasn't that worried.

"They had been on such a good run coming into this tournament, we knew they would be disappointed after a point against Russia and they would come on strong. It wasn't to be in the end."

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC