Wayne Rooney moved a step closer to history when he equalled Sir Bobby Charlton’s goal-scoring record for England in a 6-0 win over San Marino.
Sky Sports reported on the game. The routine win confirms England’s place in the Euro 2016 competition — but Rooney will be celebrating a landmark 49th goal for England, one that puts him level with Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton in the all-time England goalscorers chart. However, he will have to wait to beat the record after being substituted just before the hour. His next chance comes on Tuesday when England play Switzerland at Wembley.
England has plenty to celebrate though; the win means they have won seven games out of seven in the qualifying round, a run that ensures their participation in France next summer.
Rooney opened the scoring in the 13th minute with a simple penalty, one given for a dubious push in the box. The England captain stepped up to slot the ball to the keeper’s left, sending him the wrong way. England were 2-0 up on 30 minutes when Cristian Brolli deflected a Luke Shaw cross into his own net. England immediately grabbed a third on 46 minutes when an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain found Ross Barkley, who finished with a sublime header for his first England goal.
Theo Walcott added a fourth on 68 minutes when he tapped home Fabien Delph’s low drive across the box. Harry Kane would add the fifth on 77 minutes when he lofted the ball over the keeper from inside the box and a minute later, Walcott would finish the rout with a low drive to finish Barkley’s through ball.
Rooney’s substitution on 58 minutes shocked many, mainly because he was chasing one more goal from the leaky San Marino defense, but it will come as a sensible decision to save their key striker for the upcoming games. Rooney will have to wait to make history, but it might be more fitting to beat Bobby Charlton’s record at Wembley, in front of the home fans.
Rooney would soon tweet about his proud achievement.
Great feeling being in the same company as Sir Bobby Charlton. Proud moment for me and my family— Wayne Rooney (@WayneRooney) September 5, 2015
BBC Sport also caught up with Rooney after the win.
“It’s a proud moment to equal Sir Bobby Charlton’s record. My aim is to push on and try and help the team win on Tuesday and break the record. It would have been great if the record had happened tonight. Obviously the tradition of Wembley and to break the record at Wembley would be great.”
England was never under threat in a game that gave several new faces a run-out in preparation for Euro 2016. Swansea City’s Jonjo Shelvey, who made his first appearance in an England kit in three years, was dominant in possession and happy to play deep or attacking to suit the team. He would eventually create the fifth goal for Harry Kane, who will hope his first goal of a quiet season boosts his confidence. Barkley also impressed, capping the performance with his first international goal and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain worked well down the right, ever a tricky position for England.
John Stones, the center of much transfer speculation during the summer, had little to do in a routine outing for England’s stars. He was content to handle a lacklustre San Marino attack, one that is yet to score their first goal in qualifying. Jamie Vardy started up front but had a tough game, one where midfield dominated possession and attacking chances. He will hope for a second chance in future games.
However, the night belonged to Rooney, who is one goal away from making England history. If he can do it on Tuesday at Wembley, on home soil, it will truly be a special moment.
[Image: Getty Images/Michael Regan The FA]