New Delhi: For 95 (90+5) minutes of their Euro 2024 clash against Slovakia in Gelsenkirchen on Sunday, England didn’t have a shot on target. For over four hours, they hadn’t scored a goal.

England midfielder Jude Bellingham celebrates his goal with Harry Kane on Sunday. (AFP)

And then with a minute to go in stoppage time, England staring at the ignominy of defeat in the Round of 16, Jude Bellingham came up with a stunning overhead volley from the middle of the 18-yard box to drag the game into extra time. Harry Kane went on to score the winner in extra time, giving England a 2-1 victory to help them advance to the quarter-finals.

Bellingham’s equaliser was the savior in a largely listless display after Slovakia had taken the lead through Ivan Schranz in the first half. The 21-year-old Real Madrid midfielder’s second goal of the campaign seemed to inject renewed belief in the England camp. Less than a minute into extra time, Kane sealed the contest.

It was fortuitous to some extent; Cole Palmer’s free-kick was punched away by Sloviakian goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, but the rebound fell to Eberechi Eze outside the box. He essentially miskicked the ball back into the box for Ivan Toney to head it on to Kane. While the Bayern Munich forward hasn’t looked at his sharpest over the past two weeks, he was going to make no mistake with a straightforward header.

England have serious problems in attack nonetheless. Despite the clamour for changes to their starting eleven after a dour group phase where they only scored two goals and drew two games, Gareth Southgate resisted shaking things up. The only change from the goalless draw against Slovenia was 19-year-old Kobbie Mainoo slotting into the midfield instead of Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher, a substitution that the England manager had made at the midway point of that previous game.

Slovakia went ahead in the 25th minute and deservedly so after showing more spark despite their limited possession in the first half. The first real threat came from a Slovakian free kick in the third minute, caused by a foul from Marc Guehi on forward David Strelec after Kieran Trippier had put his fellow defender in jeopardy by sending a pass short. Guehi earned a yellow card for the offence, the first of three for England in the opening half.

It was a sign of things to come. In the fifth minute, Lukas Haraslin, a 28-year-old left winger, got in behind right-back Kyle Walker and ran at John Stones before finding the overlapping left-back David Hancko, whose left-footed shot wasn’t far away from finding the bottom right corner. Haraslin was enterprising with the ball in the opening exchanges, making sure that Walker didn’t have the freedom to make lung-busting runs from right-back.

If Walker had, it would have helped Bukayo Saka. The right-sided winger saw quite a lot of the ball early on but never looked like finding that inch-perfect cross for Kane to get on the end of.

Never mind their lacklustre use of the ball going forward, England suffered a jolt at the back too when Schranz became the first Slovakian to score in a knockout game. At first, Denis Vavro seemed to be simply clearing the ball from centre-back, but the long ball turned into a threat once Juraj Kucka beat Guehi to the header and played it on to Strelec at the edge of the 18-yard box. Strelec waited for a second before finding the perfect through ball for Schranz who was making a run into the box. The 30-year-old took a touch and calmly slotted the ball past Jordan Pickford in the England goal.