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England coast to victory

13 Oct 2007 - 17:09:22

England cruised to a 3-0 victory over Estonia at Wembley, with Wayne Rooney scoring his first competitive goal for his country since the European Championships in 2004.

Steve McClaren opted to retain Gareth Barry in midfield alongside Steven Gerrard, who was captain in the absence of the injured John Terry, while Rooney replaced Emile Heskey in attack.

England took just 11 minutes to break the deadlock, as Micah Richards and Shaun Wright-Phillips exchanged passes on the right before the latter fired a shot low between Mart Poom's legs at his near post.

Seven minutes later it was almost 2-0 as Rooney floated an audacious chip just over the crossbar from 20 yards, with Poom struggling to get back to cover.

Just after the half-hour mark Rooney got his name on the scoresheet, as he latched onto Joe Cole's ball in from the left and his left-foot effort was deflected past the stranded Poom.

Within a minute it was 3-0 to England as Poom was gain left helpless by one of his own defenders.

This time Ashley Cole swung the ball in from the left and Taavi Rahn's header from the edge of the area directed the ball into the corner of the net as Poom tried to get across to cover.

The second half started badly for England, with Ashley Cole going down after a challenge in his own area and eventually being taken from the arena on a stretcher with a nasty looking ankle injury.

Joel Lindpere drove a shot wide of the target from the edge of the area as Estonia pushed forward and soon after the same player forced one of few saves from Paul Robinson.

Frank Lampard took over from Michael Owen with 20 minutes to play, with his arrival greeted by boos from some home fans.

Ragnar Klavan then rifled a shot high and wide from 20 yards as Estonia continued to push forward.

Late on Gerrard and Joe Cole broke the offside trap, but the England skipper tried to cut inside the last defender and the chance went begging.

Joe Cole then sliced a shot wide with just Poom to beat as England had to settle for another 3-0 victory, with their next test a much tougher one in Russia on Wednesday night.


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