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No shame in England defeat, says proud Slovakia coach

GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany : Slovakia fans should be proud of their team's effort despite a heartbreaking defeat to England, their manager Francesco Calzona said on Sunday.

The underdogs gave Euro 2020's beaten finalists a scare and England needed a stunning last-gasp equaliser from Jude Bellingham to force the game into extra time, when Harry Kane's powerful header secured victory for Gareth Southgate's side.

Calzona said that as hard as it was for Slovakia to swallow a painful defeat, they could hold their heads high with their performance.

"I have no bad words to say because we played a great game against an opponent that is a candidate to win it all. My team showed a lot, we were really good, we conceded very little and we came within a step of qualification. Too bad," Calzona told a press conference on Sunday.

"It's a pride to see a team like ours put in a performance like that. I can only say that for me it is a great pride to coach such a team. Fantastic group, a unique commitment and attitude. I was lucky enough to meet these guys and they gave me enormous satisfaction."

Calzona said it was a matter of details that led to his side's defeat, stressing that Slovakia could have extended their lead on at least a couple of occasions.

"We played on a par with everyone in this tournament always with an attacking mentality, we created a lot of chances and today the statistics showed that we had three clear chances against a team that everyone says is one of the favourites to win the Euros," Calzona said.

"As much as I know that the boys are devastated by the result, very disappointed because they had tasted qualification for the quarter-finals, I'm proud of them.

"Unfortunately, with just a few seconds left, it all vanished. But