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England coach Hodgson swallows bitter pill after Russia grab late goal

Football Soccer - England v Russia - EURO 2016 - Group B - Stade V?lodrome, Marseille, France - 11/6/16 England head coach Roy Hodgson before the match REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff/ Livepic
Football Soccer - England v Russia - EURO 2016 - Group B - Stade V?lodrome, Marseille, France - 11/6/16England head coach Roy Hodgson before the matchREUTERS/Jason Cairnduff/ Livepic

By Brian Homewood

MARSEILLE, France (Reuters) - England coach Roy Hodgson said Russia's late equaliser in their Euro 2016 Group B tussle on Saturday was a bitter pill to swallow and that his team were deprived a merited win.

"To say we are bitterly disappointed would be an understatement," Hodgson told reporters after captain Vasili Berezutski equalised in stoppage time to earn Russia a 1-1 draw in a match England dominated.

"We were that close to a deserved victory and to lose it with one minute of injury time remaining is a tough pill to swallow.

"When we analyse the game tomorrow there'll be a lot of things we will want to take forward and hopefully we'll be able to put the memory of this last-minute goal behind us."

Hodgson said his side, who went ahead with an Eric Dier free kick in the 73rd minute, controlled the game apart from a spell early in the second period.

"I thought we were good for the first 45 minutes and the last 30 minutes of the second half. We weren't very good for the first 15 minutes of the second half and allowed them to play too many long balls forward," he said.

"I know Dier can do it because I see it in training. We had so much possession in their half and they were being forced to commit those fouls (outside the box)."

Russia coach Leonid Slutski recognised his team were largely outplayed.

"We deserved to have some luck," he said. "I have to praise the attitude of my players.

"Despite facing a strong opponent and going behind we never stopped putting pressure on them. My players rescued the game. England dominated but we also created chances."

(Editing by Tony Jimenez)

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