Fan violence marred the ongoing 2016 European Championships as the second round of matches saw Russia inflicting last minute heartache on England.
Also Gareth Bale’s splendid free kick helped first-timer Wales to a 2-1 win over Slovakia while Switzerland beat ten-man Albania 1-0.
But it was hooliganism involving Russian and English fans on the streets of Marseille, Nice and the Stade Velodrome which brought to light the dark aspect of the sport.
Earlier England midfielder Eric Dier slammed in a 20-metre free kick past Russia’s veteran goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev to give the Three Lions the lead with 13 minutes to play.
But then two minutes into injury time, Vasili Berezutski broke English hearts as he sent a looping header into the net to leave goalkeeper Joe Hart rooted to the spot.
UEFA may order an inquiry as to what happened in the Marseille stadium, thanks to it being responsible for the complex during the match.
Reports said a charge by Russian fans into an English section caused panic inside the stadium.
England fans also blamed the latest clashes on Russians who charged at them.
As England’s players walked disconsolately off scuffles erupted in the Stade Velodrome amongst angry supporters.
That added more confusion to earlier incidents of violence when 31 people were injured in the Marseille port district with one Englishman in critical condition.
French police fired tear gas for a third straight day to dispel fans who threw chairs, bottles and missiles.
Also, seven people were injured in Nice where Northern Ireland plays Poland on Sunday.
Bottles were hurled between rival groups in cafes during 45 minutes of urban brawling.
Christian Estrosi, head of regional government (Nice and Marseille) condemned the offenders involved as “barbarian hooligans”.
Bale magic helps Wales win
Wales and Real Madrid star Bale gave his team the lead in the first-half thanks to a superb dipping free kick over the Slovakia wall.
Though Ondrej Dodu equalized for Slovakia in the second-half it was Wales’ substitute Hal Robson-Kanu who scored the winner nine minutes from the end.
In the first game of the evening Switzerland’s Group A game against Albania saw brothers Granit and Taulant Xhaka playing for opposing sides.
Though the Swiss won still neither of the brothers had a game to remember.
Fabien Schaer’s powerful header secured the win for the Swiss after Albania skipper Lorik Cana was sent off.
Hoffenheim centre back Schaer jumped above the Albanian defence to head in a corner after just five minutes.
Cana was given a second yellow card on the 36th minute after being charged for handling the ball on the edge of the penalty area.
Schaer later said that the goal was his answer to criticism of his performances before the championship.
Despite Albania’s never say die spirit the Swiss failed to score more goals despite numerical advantage.