Next Game

S Marino v England

Saturday, 05 September 2015, 17:00

European Qualifiers Group E

Last Game

Slovenia 2 - 3 England

Sunday, 14 June 2015, 17:00

European Qualifiers Group E

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

Y

ou can't blame De Gea for wanting to leave, he has enough to do in front of goal as it is as well as taking on the role of Man Utd's version of Derek Acorah in trying to contact and organise a defence that isn't there.

rodger's gusset
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

I

f you want to take six points off Arsenal, then that's a great strike force. Can't imagine either of them showing much for the rest of the season though...

foot in mouth
Adebayor & Berbatov: You Have To Admire The Balls

L

ooks like Real get their man, most likely at their own valuation, yet again. Resistance is futile.

paul7702
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

Footer 365

Leicester agree club-record fee for Charles Aranguiz

Leicester are discussing terms with Chile midfielder Charles Aranguiz after agreeing a club-record £10.5m fee with Internacional.

Andre Pirlo backs Liverpool's Mario Balotelli to prove his potential

Andrea Pirlo thinks Mario Balotelli can still be one of the "top forwards in Europe" despite his struggles at Liverpool.

West Brom reject approach from Aston Villa for Joleon Lescott

West Brom have rejected an approach from Aston Villa for central defender Joleon Lescott, according to reports.

Mail Box

Neville Has It Wrong On Chelsea...

One Mailboxer says that the Neviller has it slightly wrong on Chelsea. Plus thoughts on sexy Saints, pre-season reviews, Connor Wickham and televised analysis...

De Gea Disrespectful? Remember RVP...

We got dozens of mails from people pointing and laughing at Brian D for suggesting David de Gea has acted disrespectfully; we printed some. And there's more...

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