European Qualifiers: Wayne Rooney marks 100th cap with 44th goal as England beat Slovenia 3-1 at Wembley
Last Updated: 16/11/14 6:52pm
Wayne Rooney capped his Wembley milestone with a landmark goal as England came from behind to beat Slovenia 3-1 and maintain their 100% start to the European Qualifiers.
The captain's 59th-minute penalty, on the evening of his 100th appearance, was a 44th international goal that drew him level with Jimmy Greaves at third-place in the catalogue of England's all-time top goalscorers.
It also drew his side level on the night, barely two minutes after a Jordan Henderson own goal had put Slovenia in front, and paved the way for a fourth straight Group E victory secured by Danny Welbeck's double (66 and 72).
The result gives England a six-point cushion on Slovenia, who came to London in second place following back-to-back wins.
Only Gary Lineker and Sir Bobby Charlton now have more England goals than Rooney, meanwhile, and it was the World Cup-winning knight of the realm who presented the skipper with his commemorative golden cap before kick-off.
The dazzle of that piece of memorabilia was not matched by a subdued first half, England's patient but powder-puff attacks failing to force a single stop from Slovenia goalkeeper Samir Handanovic.
In fact, amid a series of off-target long-range shots from the home side, it was Slovenia who went closest to a goal as Milijove Novakovic flashed a near-post corner wide after wandering unguarded across the England box.
Set-pieces always appeared the likeliest route to goal for the visitors, and so it proved 12 minutes after half-time as Henderson, in his eagerness to defend a dangerous Novakovic delivery, skimmed a header past Joe Hart.
England were stung into action and won a penalty within 90 seconds as Bostjan Cesar, whose first-half forearm smash on Adam Lallana had been deemed accidental by the officials, needlessly nibbled at Rooney's ankles. The captain's spot-kick was too firm for Handanovic, who guessed right.
Shortly afterwards England were in front, Welbeck bobbling in a left-footed follow-up when Lallana's deflected shot came back off Handanovic and fell obligingly.
And the Arsenal striker sealed a fifth successive victory - England's best run since 2008 - with the goal of the game, tucked wide of the Slovenia keeper after a smart give-and-go with Raheem Sterling.
European Championship Qualifying
Sat 15th Nov - Group C
Luxembourg0 - 3Ukraine
Macedonia0 - 2Slovakia
Spain3 - 0Belarus
Sat 15th Nov - Group E
England3 - 1Slovenia
S Marino0 - 0Estonia
Switzerlnd4 - 0Lithuania
Sat 15th Nov - Group G
Moldova0 - 1Liechtenstein
Austria1 - 0Russia
Montenegro1 - 1Sweden
European Championship Qualifying Group A
European Championship Qualifying Group B
|5||Bosnia and Herzegovina||4||2|
European Championship Qualifying Group C
European Championship Qualifying Group D
|4||Republic of Ireland||4||7|
European Championship Qualifying Group E
European Championship Qualifying Group F
European Championship Qualifying Group G
European Championship Qualifying Group H
European Championship Qualifying Group I
England v Slovenia
Highlights of England against Slovenia in the European Qualifiers.
Roy Hodgson has praised captain Wayne Rooney after his 100th game for England.
Danny Welbeck was happy with the comeback after going down a goal to Slovenia at Wembley.
- England 3 Slovenia 1: Rate the players
- England 3 Slovenia 1: Five things
- Rooney: It's a great honour
- Hodgson praises English spirit
- Baines absence short-term
- 'Rooney sets example'
- Rooney seeks long future
- Roy: Rooney an England great
- Baines ruled out for England
- Lallana: England in good shape
- Downing misses training
- Redknapp: Respect Rooney's ton
- The 100 club
- Baines: Rooney can help Barkley
- England lose Carrick to injury
- Clyne ready for England chance
- Hodgson: Barkley 'like Gazza'
- Saido proud to answer call