Aviva Stadium

Next Game

Rep Ire v England

Sunday, 07 June 2015, 13:00

International Match

Last Game

Italy 1 - 1 England

Tuesday, 31 March 2015, 19:45

International Match

Rooney - Opening goal vital

Wayne Rooney says England's early goal in the second half against Montenegro was crucial to their eventual 4-1 World Cup qualifying victory.

Last Updated: 12/10/13 at 13:42 Post Comment

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

After a goalless first half, Rooney's close range strike on 48 minutes eased the tension that had been gathering over Wembley, especially after news had filtered through of a victory for qualification rivals Ukraine during the half time break.

Branko Boskovic's own goal doubled the home side's advantage 13 minutes later before Dejan Damjanovic dragged Montenegro back into the game and sent nerves jangling once more.

However, a spectacular goal from debutant Andros Townsend and a stoppage time Daniel Sturridge penalty secured the points and means victory over Poland on Tuesday will seal England's place in Brazil next summer.

"It was a tough game," Rooney told Sky Sports. "First half they defended deep and defended well but we still created a few opportunities.

"So we came in at half time knowing we could create chances against Montenegro.

"I think getting the goal so early in the second half was vital and we excelled after that and deserved the three points.

"I think you saw a weight come off everyone's shoulders. It was always going to be a night where we had to be patient and try and break them down but getting that goal was vital for us."

Rooney also praised the bold attacking team selection by boss Hodgson, which saw Rooney form a striking quartet alongside Sturridge, Townsend and Danny Welbeck.

"It was great," he added. "Exciting, with a lot of speed and with experience of Steve [Gerrard] and Frank [Lampard] behind us.

"The manager gave us the freedom and platform to go out and express ourselves and I thought the four of us did that, especially Andros[Townsend], that was some debut."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

A

ll he wants are sharks with frickin lazers on their heads. Is that too much to ask?

mufc phil
Bomb threat on FIFA D-day

W

hy is the dinosaur trying to hold on to this.... Just leave... No one wants you in this position you corrupt loser. Let someone else take over....

arsenal121
Defiant Sepp blames minority

N

ow is the time for Allardyce to finally get a chance at a big club please. He is likely to have a number of great offers for his services this summer, but who will he choose? Will it be Liverpool, Real Madrid, Dortmund or Man City?

medina_sod
Allardyce leaves West Ham

Footer 365

Craig Cathcart out to build on a special 12 months

Northern Ireland and Watford defender Craig Cathcart wants to build on a memorable year for club and country.

Tim Sherwood defends Arsene Wenger's record at Arsenal

Tim Sherwood has praised Arsene Wenger's Arsenal record ahead of the FA Cup final after past criticism of the Frenchman.

Arsene Wenger keen to focus on future ahead of FA Cup final

Arsene Wenger will continue to look to the future, rather than reflect on past glories, if Arsenal can win his sixth FA Cup.

Mail Box

Players Must Stand Up For Qatar Boycott

Players, not bureaucrats, hold the key to boycotting Qatar. Also in the afternoon mailbox: Wenger is right to rotate, Zlatan can dribble, and it's Barca v Ajax in the budget final...

What Would You Do If You Were Blatter?

Step into Sepp's shoes, is the invitation from one mailboxer. Also: United already have their new number one, Rodgers deserves time, and the best Budget XI so far...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company