England are better than Wales: Slovakia’s Kozak


Saint-Étienne (France) (AFP) – England might have qualified second in Group B behind Wales at Euro 2016, but the Three Lions are better than Chris Coleman’s Dragons, according to Slovakia coach Jan Kozak.

Roy Hodgson’s England secured their place in the knock-out phase, but lost their status as Group B winners to Wales, after being held to a goalless draw by Slovakia on Monday.

Slovakia must now wait to see if they qualify as one of four best third-place teams after their goalkeeper and man-of-the-match Matus Kozacik pulled off a string of saves to deny England.

Wales will play their last 16 clash in Paris on Saturday, while England face the Group F runners-up, likely to be either Portugal or Hungary, in Nice on Monday.

Slovakia lost 2-1 to Wales in their opening game, but Kozak insists England are better than Wales. 

“From what I have seen, in terms of quality, they are better. England are better than Wales,” he said.

“We expected a lot of pressure from England, because they are a top team and as time went on, our team started to show signs they were tired.

“To get a point against England is a huge positive.

“I am glad to have four points, but we have to see how things progress and if we get through to the last 16 we’ll be really happy.

“We tried to attack, but the quality of the opposition, especially late on, meant we were deep in defence and couldn’t get out of our half.

“I didn’t expect to be pressed so deeply.”

Kozak said that before the tournament he had targeted the game against Wales as Slovakia’s best chance for a victory.

Having lost to the Welsh in their opener, Slovakia beat Russia 2-1 before drawing with England.

“I had concluded we could only get four points if we beat Wales, which didn’t happen, but football is like that sometimes,” said Kozak.

He said his side had wanted to attack England, but came up against a solid Three Lions defence.  

“To be honest, it’s not really our style of play and it’s not nice to watch,” said Kozak.

“We tried to attack, but the quality of the opposition, especially late on, meant we were deep in defence and couldn’t get out of our half.”

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