Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 15th 2015 Contents Wayne Rooney edged one goal
closer to Sir Bobby Charlton s record
as England snatched a thrilling win
in Slovenia to end the season unbeat-
en for the first time in 24 years.
England looked set to lose their first
qualifying game since 2009 when
Milivoje Novakovic put Slovenia
ahead, but Jack Wilshere scored two
fine goals to put the visitors in front.
Substitute Nejc Pecnik thought he
had grabbed a historic equaliser with
six minutes to go, but less than two
minutes later, Rooney capitalised on
a defensive error and slotted past
Samir Handanovic to score his 48th
The England captain is now level
with Gary Lineker and one shy of
Charlton s 49-goal record.
It was a historic evening for Roy
Hodgson too, who became the first
England manager to guide his team
through an unbeaten season since
Graham Taylor did so in the 1990-91
Hodgson will also take pride in his
team s performance. It was the com-
plete antithesis to the one that they
put on in the drab goalless draw in
Dublin last week.
Rooney will grab the headlines
because he scored the winner, but
Wilshere s first two goals for his coun-
try were absolute stunners.
Despite missing chances, Raheem
Sterling looked threatening and Jordan
Henderson played surprisingly well
at right-back in the second half.
A year on from England s World
Cup defeat against Italy in Manaus,
they have ended the season with a
comprehensive lead at the top of
Group E after six matches.
Hodgson warned on the eve of the
match that his players would face a
stern test of their mental strength and
he was right.
The atmosphere inside the stadium
could not have been more different
than the one they experienced in
Behind the home goal, bare-chested
supporters behind a "Ljubljana Ultras"
flag shook the foundations of the Sta-
Hodgson s team also had a different
look to it, with Fabian Delph, Andros
Townsend and Kieran Gibbs brought
into the starting XI.
Hodgson stuck with Sterling, but
his faith in the Liverpool forward ini-
tially looked misplaced.
The controversial 20-year-old found
space in the box, but lifted the ball
over the home goal.
Sterling spurned another chance,
cutting in from the right and firing
wide because of a deflection.
Rooney then drew a top-class save
from Handanovic. England were dom-
inating, but they lacked the killer
touch Hodgson had urged them to
England was made to pay for their
profligacy when they went 1-0 down
in the 38th minute.
Phil Jones set the ball rolling with
a truly awful throw-in, which went
straight to a Slovenia player inside his
own box. Slovenia shifted the ball up
the pitch with alarming pace. Two
moves later, Josip Ilicic had sent
Novakovic clear. Gary Cahill failed to
play Novakovic offside and he slotted
the ball past the on-rushing Joe Hart.
England could not believe it.
Everyone was left scratching their
heads when Hodgson shifted Hen-
derson to right-back following the
introduction of Adam Lallana for
In fairness to Hodgson, it proved
to be a wise move.
Lallana twisted and turned past two
defenders in the box. When another
got his foot to the ball, it went straight
to Wilshere and he banged the ball
into the top right-hand corner.
England pushed for a second
straight away, but once again lacked
a cutting edge.
Rooney missed two good chances
but England were ahead again in the
73rd minute when Wilshere scored
Henderson picked the ball up off
Delph and sped down the right before
cutting the ball back to Lallana. He
flicked the ball into Wilshere, who
took one touch before rifling a left-
foot shot into the far corner. England
fans rose to their feet to applaud.
Eleven minutes later, they were
stunned as Slovenia equalised. Pecnik,
a former flop at Sheffield Wednesday,
headed home Bojan Jokic s cross after
losing Gibbs at the back post.
England kept their composure
though and blew the candles out on
the home celebrations when Jokic slid
in on substitute Theo Walcott and
Rooney slotted home.
Asamoah Gyan scored twice as Ghana
beat Mauritius 7-1 in the first round of
African Cup of Nations qualifying yesterday.
Cameroon needed a last-minute winner
from Vincent Aboubakar to edge Maurita-
nia 1-0. Seven-time African champion Egypt
beat Tanzania 3-0.
Ghana, Cameroon and Egypt join Tunisia,
Mali, Algeria and Senegal as some of the
early group leaders.
Gyan and fellow forward Jordan Ayew
both scored a brace for the Black Stars in
the third lopsided win of the opening round.
Tunisia beat Djibouti 8-1 on Friday and Cape
Verde won 7-1 over Sao Tome on Saturday.
Congo battled to beat Madagascar 2-1
and Republic of Congo and Kenya drew 1-1.
Ethiopia came from behind to beat Lesotho
2-1 with goals in the last 22 minutes by
Gatoch Panom and Saladin Said. The game
was played in heavy rain, forcing thousands
of supporters to leave the stands at the
newly-built 60,000-seat stadium in the
northern city of Bahir Dar to seek shelter.
Equatorial Guinea came back for a 1-1
draw with Benin with captain Emilio Nsue's
equalizer. Niger beat Namibia 1-0. Rwanda
beat Mozambique 1-0 away in Maputo. In
Ivory Coast's group, Sudan beat Sierra
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
Ghana wins big, Cameroon leaves it late
Rooney edges closer
...one goal away from Charlton's record
England's Wayne Rooney celebrates his goal during the Euro 2016 Group E qualifying soccer match between Slovenia and
England, in Ljubljana, Slovenia, yesterday
Phil Jones' set the ball
rolling with a truly awful
throw in, which went
straight to a Slovenia player
inside his own box. Slovenia
shifted the ball up the pitch
with alarming pace. Two
moves later, Josip Ilicic had
sent Novakovic clear. Gary
Cahill failed to play
Novakovic offside and he
slotted the ball past the on-
rushing Joe Hart.
WOOD fought his
way to 50 against Aus-
tralia in the second
Test which ended yes-
"I think that the expe-
rience the young men
would have gained
against a top all-round
side like Australia,
would be with them
for the rest of their
West Indies captain
after his team s massive
loss by 277 runs to Aus-
(Ext: 2213, 2711, 2212,
Links Archive June 14th 2015 June 16th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page