Rooney equals record as England reach Euro 2016

Saturday 05 Sep 2015
Wayne Rooney celebrates after equalling Sir Bobby Charlton's goalscoring record

England became the first team to qualify for Euro 2016 with a convincing 6-0 win over San Marino.

Captain Wayne Rooney drew level with the Three Lions all-time goalscoring record from the penalty spot, while an own-goal and strikes from Ross Barkley, Theo Walcott (2) and Harry Kane maintained their 100 per cent run.

Manager Roy Hodgson knew that a victory at the small and picturesque stadium in Serravalle would be enough to at least secure second spot in Group E and with it a place in Euro 2016 with three games to spare.

San Marino 0-6 England

UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier
Saturday 5 September
San Marino Stadium, Serravalle
Match Stats

Hodgson handed first starts to Jonjo Shelvey and Jamie Vardy while John Stones was making his first senior appearance for a year.

And while victory was the ultimate aim, pre-match hype was once again surrounding Rooney and his attempts to pass Sir Bobby Charlton’s 45-year England goalscoring record.

Coming into the match he was just one behind the Three Lions and Manchester United legend and took just 13 minutes to level things up. But it came amid confusion inside the San Marino box.

When James Milner delivered a dangerous free-kick from the right, a row of players looked to connect before the ball found its way into the arms of keeper Aldo Simoncini. The referee, though, had spotted an infringement, awarding a penalty to the visitors and booking defender Marco Berardi.

Watch the match highlights

Rooney was there in a flash, picking up the ball and waiting for the melee to subside before stroking home his 49th goal for his country.

It was one of only a handful of chances England had in the first half. Milner failed to connect properly after Simoncini parried another Rooney effort, while the stopper made a magnificent save to deny Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from close-range. A Stones header six yards out was also easy for the goalkeeper.

Co-incidentally, England’s second goal – arriving on the half-hour mark – also equalled Charlton and Rooney’s record.

Luke Shaw sent in a cross from the left which was destined for his club-mate and captain. Instead Cristian Brolli, wearing a bandage following an earlier clash of heads with Vardy, connected to put the ball past his own keeper.

It was the 49th own-goal in England’s favour.  

Barkley was starting a game for the first time since the World Cup and opened his account inside the first minute of the second half. Oxlade-Chamberlain burst down the right before clipping a cross into the middle where the Everton midfielder was waiting unmarked.

It was an easy finish with his head for the 21-year-old, who has already netted twice for the Toffees this season.

Ross Barkley (No8) is congratulated by Wayne Rooney after opening his England account

Barkley (No8) is congratulated by Rooney after opening his England account

Beating the goalscoring record, though, would have to wait another day for Rooney after Hodgson made a double substitution just before the hour. As Fabian Delph came on for Milner, the skipper was replaced by Kane, who bagged a hat-trick on his last visit to San Marino for the Under-21s.

But it was the final replacement, Walcott, who made it four with his first touch, tucking away at the back post after a cross from Delph. Walcott netted another latching on to Barkley's reverse pass to slot home and seal the 6-0 victory - but not before Kane got in on the act.

The Tottenham Hotspur man lifted the ball delightfully over Simoncini’s head before it nestled into the goal.

England take on second-placed Switzerland at Wembley on Tuesday knowing their place in France next summer is assured, but the job of winning the group is still to do.

San Marino (5-4-1): 1 Aldo Simoncini; 2 Giovani Bonini, 4 Cristian Brolli, 5 Davide Simoncini, 6 Mirko Palazzi, 3 Marco Berardi; 7 Jose Hirsch, 8 Manuel Battistini, 9 Nicola Chiaruzzi, 11 Matteo Vitaioli, 10 Andy Selva (c).

Substitutes: 20 Luca Tosi on for Bonini 72, 18 Danilo Rinaldi on for Selva 75, 14 Alessandro Della Valle on for D Simoncini 81.

Substitutes not used: 23 Giacomo Muraccini, 12 Elia Benedetti, 13 Maicol Berretti, 15 Alex Della Valle, 16 Enrico Golinucci, 17 Pier Filippo Mazza, 19 Mattia Stefanelli, 21 Carlo Valentini, 22 Fabio Vitaioli

Coach: Pierangelo Manzaroli

Bookings: Berardi 11

England (4-3-3): 1 Joe Hart; 2 Nathaniel Clyne, 5 John Stones, 6 Phil Jagielka, 3 Luke Shaw; 4 Jonjo Shelvey, 7 James Milner, 8 Ross Barkley; 9 Jamie Vardy, 10 Wayne Rooney (c), 11 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Substitutes: 17 Fabian Delph on for Milner 58, 18 Harry Kane on for Rooney 58.

Substitutes not used: 12 Chris Smalling, 13 Jack Butland, 15 Gary Cahill, 16 Michael Carrick, 19 Ryan Mason, 20 Raheem Sterling, 21 Kieran Gibbs, 22 Tom Heaton.

Manager: Roy Hodgson

Goals: Rooney (pen) 13, Brolli (og) 30, Barkley 46, Walcott 68, 78, Kane 77

Referee: Leontios Trattou (Cyprus)

Attendance: 4,378

By Jamie Bradbury FA Editor in Serravalle, San Marino