By Niall Clarke
- San Marino 0-6 England
- Rooney matches England goal record
- England confirm qualification for Euro 2016
SAN MARINO- England have booked their place in the main draw of Euro 2016 after a 6-0 thrashing of a sorry San Marino.
Wayne Rooney opened the scoring from the spot to match Sir Bobby Charlton’s all time goal scoring record of 49. However the Manchester United forward must wait for the record breaking half century after surprisingly being substituted by manager Roy Hodgson.
The Three Lions were never in danger against a side filled with part time players. It was the usual damage limitation exercise for San Marino, but even then they could not prevent a second goal before half time. In fact it was actually one of their own that doubled the lead as Cristian Brolli headed into his own net. Funnily enough, OWN GOAL has also tied the all-time goal scoring record for England- I wonder if it will break it before Rooney?
“It’s a proud moment to equal Sir Bobby Charlton’s record. My aim is to push on and try and help the team win on Tuesday and break the record.” Rooney told ITV Sport.
“It would have been great if the record had happened tonight. Obviously the tradition of Wembley and to break the record at Wembley would be great.”
Despite having a poor game by his standards, Ross Barkley got his name on the scoresheet after the break with a header, thus earning his first International goal. England hit the accelerator (literally) when Theo Walcott double and a clever finish by Harry Kane.
Hodgson decided to give chances to players in the relatively safe surroundings of San Marino. Jamie Vardy, Jonjo Shelvey and John Stones all started for the Three Lions and put in good shifts.
Shelvey in particular was positive in possession and created the fifth goal for Kane. It could be argued that the Swansea City midfielder was man of the match. Vardy struggled to really get in the game but as usual he was full of energy. Stones had little to do against the minnows who were bidding for their first goal in the qualifiers.
“I am more than satisfied and we won it with a good margin.” Hodgson said in his post match interview with ITV Sport.
“One or two who weren’t in contention to play on Tuesday night have pushed their claims and Jonjo Shelvey deserves a mention.”
The 6-0 victory has cemented England’s trip to France for Euro 2016 and makes sure that their unbeaten record in qualifying has extended to seven games.
The Three Lions will not be amongst the favourites when the tournament kicks off next year, but their results during qualifying are encouraging. England are the first team to qualify for the group stage (apart from hosts France) ahead of teams such as Germany, Holland and Spain.
For now, England must see out the remainder of their qualifiers with Hodgson assessing his options for the main tournament next year. Rooney will also be looking to finally break the all time scoring record (unless own goal does it first).
England will host Switzerland on Tuesday at 19:45 BST. You can follow the Three Lions via the Brtiwatch Live Scores