CHRISTIAN RADNEDGE at WEMBLEY: Captain Wayne Rooney, having received his 100th England cap, marked the occasion with the goal which put England on the road to recovery and victory by 3-1 win over Slovenia in their Euro 2016 qualifier at Wembley.
Roy Hodgson’s men maintained their 100pc record in their first Saturday home match for more than two years after the Manchester United forward scored from a penalty after they had just fallen behind to a Jordan Henderson own goal. Danny Welbeck then scored twice to seal the win.
Rooney’s award of a golden cap by Sir Bobby Charlton before kick-off in front of the 82,305 was one of the more enervating early moments before an underwhelming first half. England dominated possession but failed to create any clear cut chances.
Raheem Sterling dragged a shot just wide of the post in the early stages while Rooney and Welbeck both blasted over from the edge of the penalty area in quick succession.
The game sprang to life after the break. Just two minutes into the second half, Slovenia took a shock lead as Henderson headed over his own goalkeeper Joe Hart after a free-kick.
Moments later Rooney darted into the opposite penalty box and was brought down by Bostjan Cesar resulting in a penalty. The man of the night lashed the ball in to equalise for England and bring his international goal tally up to 44, level with Jimmy Greaves and behind only Charlton and Gary Lineker.
Buoyed by the awakened crowd, the home side poured forward and took the lead after the hour. Adam Lallana’s effort was saved by the goalkeeper but a poor clearance fell to Danny Welbeck who side-footed it in.
Welbeck grabbed a second and England’s third just five minutes later after linking up with Raheem Sterling and finishing with aplomb.
A dogged performance by Jack Wilshere in deep midfield saw him awarded man of the match.
The win means England continue their perfect start to the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign. They now travel to Scotland for a friendly at Celtic Park on Tuesday.
Point of order
San Marino earned their first point of the European Championship qualifying campaign as they frustrated Estonia in a Group E stalemate in Serravalle.
The match between the group’s bottom two sides was dominated by the visitors but they could not find a goal – thanks to their own wayward shooting and some big saves from Aldo Simoncini late on.
Franz Burgmeier’s second-half free kick earnedLiechtenstein their first win of the campaign as they beat Moldova 1-0.
Spain made it three wins from four games in qualifying with a comfortable 3-0 triumph over Belarus.
Xherdan Shaqiri scored two late goals as Switzerland eventually claimed a 4-0 win over a stubborn Lithuania side in Euro 2016 qualifying Group E.
Lithuania goalkeeper Giedrius Arlauskis had kept his side in it for over an hour but when his error handed the Swiss the lead, the floodgates opened.
Andriy Yarmolenko claimed a hat-trick as Ukraine recorded their third straight victory in Euro 2016 qualifying Group C with a 3-0 triumph at rock-bottom Luxembourg.
Slovakia maintained their 100pc record in Euro 2016 qualifying with a 2-0 at Macedonia.
Jan Kozak’s men went into the clash top of Group C after wins over Ukraine, Spain and Belarus and goals from Juraj Kucka and Adam Nemec ensured it stayed that way at the Philip II Arena.
Austria continued their fine start to their European Championship qualifying campaign with a 1-0 victory over Russia in Vienna, while Sweden could only 1-1 with Montenegro despite Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring on his return.