Wembley Stadium

Next Game

England v Lithuania

Friday, 27 March 2015, 19:45

European Qualifiers Group E

Celtic Park

Last Game

Scotland 1 - 3 England

Tuesday, 18 November 2014, 20:00

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

I

was there, it was embarrassing - the team looked totally unbalanced from the off, the defence was woeful and when Mikel came off injured it got even worse with nobody in front of them. Up front on several occasions we had opportunities and nobody would shoot - it was a complete farse! On the back of Salah's performance I'm glad there is talk of getting shot...

Fly1ngh1gh
Cup defeat shames Mourinho

G

reat to see Tommy Rosicky getting some love. A wonderful player. Such a pity we lost so long to injury. I was so excited when we signed him, this resurgence only makes the absences seem more of a lost opportunity.

cheshire-gooner
16 Conclusions: FA Cup Fourth Round Weekend

A

pparently Chiles has blamed Twitter trolls for his exit. Proof that even the worst things can get great results at times.

cheshire-gooner
Adrian Chiles to leave ITV

Footer 365

Manchester United U21s beat Liverpool 2-1 as Victor Valdes makes first appearance for the club

Goals from Nick Powell and Paddy McNair gave Manchester United's U21 side victory over Liverpool at Leigh Sports Village.

FA Cup: Giant-killers Bradford handed Sunderland or Fulham showdown in fifth round

Bradford's reward for knocking Chelsea out of the FA Cup is a fifth-round showdown with either Sunderland or Fulham.

Dutch FA president Michael van Praag to challenge Sepp Blatter for FIFA top job

Dutch FA president Michael van Praag is to stand against Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency.

Mail Box

You're Man Utd, For Crying Out Loud!

Defending a 0-0 draw with Cambridge on the grounds that other teams lost to lower-league opposition is not befitting of Man United. We're inclined to agree with Mailboxers...

A Massive Mailbox On A Weekend Of Wonder

We unsurprisingly have plenty of mails on a wonderful FA Cup weekend, including thoughts on Palace, Van Gaal, Phil Jones, Chelsea, Mourinho and Yaya Toure...

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