Switzlerland 1 England 3
Published : 07 Sep 2010 22:17:41
Wayne Rooney ended his barren goalscoring run for England on Tuesday night, helping the Three Lions to victory over Switzerland in Basle. The Manchester United forward had been at the centre of a series of tabloid revelations in the build-up to the game due to indiscretions in his private life, but coach Fabio Capello had no doubts about keeping him in his starting XI. He overhit an early cross that was aimed at Jermaine Defoe, but had had the easiest of tap-ins after 10 minutes. He turned the ball home from the edge of the six-yard area box following Glen Johnson's pullback. Theo Walcott was injured during the goal, going over on his right ankle and having to be replaced by Adam Johnson. Johnson, the Manchester City winger, added a second goal in the second-half and although the hosts pulled one back quickly through Xherdan Shaqir they did not manage to get an equaliser and Darren Bent put the result beyond doubt. Defoe had chances to double England's advantage before the break, forcing the keeper into a good save when getting a shot away despite the attentions of several defenders and heading wide from a Rooney cross. The score was 1-0 to England at half-time, with a clear confidence flowing throughout their play. James Milner was booked after bringing down Stephan Lichtsteiner shortly after the restart, meaning he will miss the trip to Wales in March. England went through a nervy patch, summed up by Joe Hart fumbling a simple catch and defensive doubts. Switzerland looked dangerous and ready to get back into the game, but that changed after 65 minutes when Lichtensteiner brought down Milner with a late sliding tackle for his second yellow card of the match. Johnson made it 2-0 four minutes later with Steven Gerrard playing him through brilliantly to round the keeper and fire home. While England were still celebrating the goal, Defoe went off on a stretcher, replaced by Bent. Any thoughts England had that the match was as food as over were premature, with substitute Xherdan Shaqir - the Kosovo-born wonderkid of Swiss football who is still only 18 - sending a swirling shot past Hart from outside the area. A great run from substitute Shaun Wright-Phllips after 86 minutes should have resulted in a third goal for England, but his cross for the unmarked Bent was poor and easily cut out by the home defence. Wright-Philips' ball through to Bent shortly afterwards was much better, and the Sunderland forward drilled home England's third with a low shot to secure top place in the group.