England Defeat Shabby Slovenia
Two goals from Danny Welbeck and a penalty from Wayne Rooney helped the Three Lions come back from a goal down to maintain their 100% EURO 16 qualifiers record.
The Manchester United and England captain, Rooney, was making his century of senior international appearances on Saturday and, in doing so, became the youngest player to ever achieve the feat.
Any thought of a walk-over, however, was dashed when Jordan Henderson puzzlingly headed into his own net from a Slovenia set-piece on 57 minutes.
The home side hit back minutes later when Rooney was clipped in the box and went down to claim a penalty.
He was never going to let anyone else take the kick despite Samir Handanovic’s record of having saved every penalty kick in 2014. The keeper got a strong hand to the ball but it nestled in the back of the net and Rooney had goal number 44.
Slovenia became complacent and instead of pushing forward the way they had done in the first half, the visitors sat back and allowed Roy Hodgson’s men to pile on the pressure.
Shortly after the hour mark, Welbeck bundled in England’s second from a Raheem Sterling cross before slotting home the decisive third goal in a well-worked attack with the Liverpool winger and Kieran Gibbs.
Hodgson gave Southampton’s Nathaniel Clyne a deserved bebut and the full-back put in an impressive display down the right to give the manager a selection headache ahead of Tuesday’s friendly against Scotland at Celtic Park.
The win temporarily extends England’s lead at the top of Group E to six points over Lithuania who face a tricky fixture against Switzerland later in the day.