Fri, Jun 12, 2009 - Page 20 News List

Rooney double sinks Andorra

FIREPOWER England and Serbia took significant strides toward the World Cup with solid victories in their European qualifying matches on Wednesday

AFP , LONDON

England’s Wayne Rooney reacts after missing a chance to score against Andorra during their World Cup 2010 qualifier at Wembley Stadium in London on Wednesday.

PHOTO: REUTERS

Striker Wayne Rooney carried on his scintillating international form as he scored twice in England’s 6-0 demolition of Andorra in their World Cup 2010 qualifying match on Wednesday.

The Manchester United striker endured a recent barren spell for his club, failing to register in his final seven games of the season and playing poorly during their Champions League final defeat against Barcelona in Rome.

Despite this slight dip domestically, Rooney’s goalscoring form for England has never deserted him.

The forward’s two clinical strikes at Wembley on Wednesday make it eight in seven qualifying games and have England fans dreaming that he can fire them to ultimate glory during the finals in South Africa next year.

The Liverpudlian did his job so well that England’s Italian coach Fabio Capello could rest him for the second-half with his team already three goals to the good.

The confident frontman tore into the hapless visiting defence almost from the kick-off and could have netted twice before his fourth minute strike.

Before the second minute had elapsed he executed a superb turn on the edge of the penalty area before demonstrating his subtlety with a chip that goalkeeper Koldo Alvarez tipped over the crossbar.

The Manchester United player should have registered from the resultant corner but he contrived to head the ball against the crossbar with an open goal gaping after livewire winger Theo Walcott’s shot had been saved by Alvarez.

However, the former Everton player made no mistake with his header a minute later, comfortably guiding full-back Glen Johnson’s right-wing cross into the far corner of the net when completely unmarked six-yards from goal.

World Cup qualifying

Wednesday’s results:

EUROPE

Group 1: Sweden 4, Malta 0

Group 4: Finland 0, Russia 3

Group 6: England 6, Andorra 0

Ukraine 2, Kazakhstan 1

Group 7: Faroe Islands 0, Serbia 2

Group 9: Macedonia 2, Iceland 0

Netherlands 2, Norway 0

CONCACAF

Final Round

Honduras 1, El Salvador 0

Mexico 2, Trinidad and Tobago 1

SOUTH AMERICA

Ecuador 2, Argentina 0

Colombia 1, Peru 0

Brazil 2, Paraguay 1

Chile 4, Bolivia 0

Venezuela 2, Uruguay 2

ASIA

Final Round

Group A: Australia 2, Bahrain 0

Japan 1, Qatar 1

Group B: S Korea 0, Saudi Arabia 0

Iran 1, UAE 0

SOURCE: AP


With the comfort of an early goal, the home team were content to pass the ball around in midfield but the stocky striker’s menacing movement was still clearly unsettling the visitor’s defense.

The Johnson-Rooney combination nearly struck again in the 25th minute when the Portsmouth player’s cute pass found the forward in space in the penalty area.

The prolific hitman clearly had a good idea of what he wanted to do, but snatched at his attempted turn and shot, dragging the ball wide.

The game was effectively won in the 29th minute when Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard drove home Walcott’s cross.

With the only question being how many England could get, Rooney sensed blood and grabbed his second of the night, and his 23rd international goal in total, 10 minutes later.

Once more it was his marauding right-back accomplice Johnson who provided him with the cross, but his electric movement and cool finish into the roof of the goal were all his own work. Although England continued to dominate in the second-half, completing the rout with three farcical late goals, they lacked the same guile and coolness, showing how vital Rooney will be to their chances next July.

Also on Wednesday, Serbia consigned the Faroe Islands to a 2-0 defeat in Torshavn in the Faroe Islands.

Standard Liege forward Milan Jovanovic scored just prior to half-time to put Serbia ahead, with center-back Neven Subotic putting the match beyond the Faroe Islands with a second goal midway through the second-half.

Ukraine are now level on points with the Croats after coming from behind to secure a narrow 2-1 win at home to Kazakhstan.

Earlier, forgotten man Aleksandr Kerzhakov struck twice as Russia won 3-0 in Finland to move to within a point of Group Four leaders Germany.

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