Saturday, October 13, 2007

Rooney on target in England win

Wayne Rooney scored his first competitive international goal since 2004 as England eased past Estonia in their Euro 2008 qualifier at Wembley.

Shaun Wright-Phillips set England on their way when his shot from the right went through keeper Mart Poom's legs.

Rooney almost ended his goal drought with an exquisite chip before netting with a deflected shot from 15 yards.

Taavi Rahn headed an own goal from 20 yards just before half-time but England failed to score in the second half.
It was a comfortable win for Steve McClaren's men, who can now qualify for next summer's tournament in Austria and Switzerland if they beat Russia on Wednesday.

Once again, Gareth Barry produced a solid performance in midfield after being preferred to Frank Lampard and McClaren will be delighted that Rooney was able to add his name to the scoresheet.

And with England three goals up at half-time, McClaren chose to exercise caution ahead of the trip to Moscow by taking off Rio Ferdinand, who would have missed the game had he picked up a booking.
However, Ashley Cole, who was also on a yellow card but came out for the second half, may not face Russia after he was carried off just a couple of minutes after the restart.

The Chelsea left-back fell awkwardly after he and substitute Joleon Lescott, on for Ferdinand, clumsily dealt with a rare Estonia attack.

Before that it had been plain sailing for England, who got the start they wanted when Wright-Phillips' shot squirmed past Poom after only 11 minutes.

And centre-back Sol Campbell, winning his 70th cap because of skipper John Terry's injury, could hardly have had an easier match in which to make his international comeback after a 16-month absence.

By contrast, Estonia's defence looked extremely vulnerable, with Rooney and Joe Cole particularly dangerous.

And the two combined for England's second when Cole's cross from the left was stepped over by Michael Owen and Rooney struck the ball into the bottom corner via a deflection.

There was considerably more Estonian involvement in England's third goal a minute later when Rahn spectacularly headed past his own keeper from outside the penalty area as he tried to cut out Ashley Cole's cross.
England's rhythm faltered after the interval and Estonia managed to test goalkeeper Paul Robinson with a couple of efforts.

The Tottenham keeper, whose place in the starting line-up had been the subject of much debate amid shaky club form, fumbled a drive by Ragnar Klavan but collected the ball at the second attempt.

For a 10-minute spell, Estonia threatened to come into the game but never really looked capable of producing a serious fightback.

Yet England appeared unable or unwilling - perhaps with a eye on Wednesday's crucial match - to step through the gears and make their superiority tell.

Steven Gerrard had a free-kick easily saved and Owen struggled a little with the offside trap, while Joe Cole dribbled down the flank without an end product.

Owen made way for Lampard, who was unfairly booed by the crowd as he stepped on to the Wembley turf, and England seemed satisfied with their third successive 3-0 win.

Gerrard and Joe Cole wasted a golden chance to score a fourth when they found themselves two-on-one against the Estonia defence but made a complete hash of it.

Shortly after that Joe Cole failed to make amends when he dragged a shot wide.
European Championship Qualifying
Armenia 0-0 Serbia
Azerbaijan 0-2 Portugal
Belarus 0-1 Luxembourg
Belgium 0-0 Finland
Croatia 1-0 Israel
Cyprus 3-1 Wales
Denmark 1-3 Spain
England 3-0 Estonia
Faroe Islands 0-6 France
Greece 3-2 Bosnia-Herzegovina
Hungary 2-0 Malta
Iceland 2-4 Latvia
Italy 2-0 Georgia
Liechtenstein 0-3 Sweden
Moldova 1-1 Turkey
Poland 3-1 Kazakhstan
Rep of Ireland 0-0 Germany
Romania 1-0 Holland
Scotland 3-1 Ukraine
Slovakia 7-0 San Marino
Slovenia 0-0 Albania

Download Goals

England 3-0 Estonia

Italy 2-0 Georgia


Faroe Islands 0-6 France


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