England became the first team to qualify for Euro 2016 by hammering San Marino 6-0, and it was a day to remember for Wayne Rooney as he equalled Bobby Charlton’s national goalscoring record.
Rooney has not made the best of starts for Manchester United this season, but the striker found the net with a contentious penalty in Serravalle on Saturday to move level with the legendary Charlton’s tally of 49 goals for England.
A Cristian Brolli own-goal doubled England’s lead before half-time, then Ross Barkley scored his first senior international goal and substitute Theo Walcott helped himself to a double either side of Harry Kane’s strike.
Rooney, who was replaced by Kane just before the hour-mark, could surpass Charlton in the list of all-time England goalscorers when Switzerland visit Wembley in midweek and he can also now look forward to leading his country out in France next year.
Roy Hodgson’s side have a 100 per cent record in qualifying with three matches remaining and are on course to finish top of Group E, while Switzerland are well placed to join them after their dramatic 3-2 win over Slovenia.
Josip Drmic was Switzerland’s hero, scoring twice to secure a stunning victory after Slovenia had been two goals up with 10 minutes remaining courtesy of goals from Milivoje Novakovic and Bostjan Cesar.
Drmic pulled a goal back after 80 minutes, then struck again four minutes into time added on after Valentin Stocker had levelled after 84 minutes in Basel to ensure the Swiss can seal at least a play-off spot by beating England on Tuesday.
Estonia beat Lithuania 1-0 to remain only two points behind Switzerland with three games to play.
A Jordi Alba header and a controversial Andres Iniesta penalty in the first half ensured Spain beat Slovakia 2-0 to leapfrog them into top spot in Group C.
Slovakia had beaten Spain 2-1 last October, but there was to be no repeat in Oviedo as the visitors’ perfect record was ended, although they can still guarantee a spot in a European Championship for the first time as an independent nation by beating Ukraine at home on Tuesday.
Ukraine are three points adrift of Slovakia following their 3-1 win over Belarus, while Luxembourg were 1-0 winners over Macedonia in the other Group C clash.
Group G leaders Austria only need a draw in Sweden on Tuesday to qualify after Zlatko Junuzovic scored the only goal of the game to give them victory over Moldova.
Russia are just a point behind second-placed Sweden after Artem Dzyuba secured a 1-0 victory over Erik Hamren’s side in Leonid Slutsky’s first game in charge, while Montenegro are still in the hunt to qualify after they saw off Liechtenstein 2-0.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!