San Marino 0-8 England
Ashley Young scored a long range screamer, as The Three Lions annihilated bottom-of-the-group San Marino yesterday. The 3,952 spectators saw nine goals, but one cruelly disallowed for offside. No England player shone singlehandedly, but the team performance is what helped them turn convincing play into goals.
In the seventh minute, Simoncini denied Frank Lampard from close range with an excellent save. The first England goal was though quite early on. As leftback Leighton Baines exploded down the left wing, he produced a dangerous low, whipped cross. Before Wayne Rooney to smash it in, defender Alessandro Della Valle scored against his own goalkeeper as the ball came off his shin.
England had had many chances until the second goal. It was a lengthy seventeen minutes since the first, but it was probably worth waiting for. Probably. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain completed some fancy footwork and after a pass from Kyle Walker and a one two with Wayne Rooney, ‘The Ox’ bulleted the ball past Simoncini from a central position at the edge of the box. The third goal was very simple. Wayne Rooney sent a very high cross into Oxlade-Chamberlain, who headed down past the diving Simoncini into Defoe, who passed the ball into the empty net. The fourth was beautiful; Ashley Young teed himself up and smashes the ball high above the goalkeeper and in from way outside the 18 yard box. The fifth and final of the first half was scored by Lampard. Leighton Baines ran to the byline and back passed to Rooney to let the ball run through his legs to Lampard who placed the ball into the net and past Simoncini.
Wayne Rooney only scored one goal last night, but it was a memorable one. Rooney stepped up to score a fabulous free-kick that caught Simoncini out in midair. The score was then 6-0 to the away side after just 53 and a half minutes. England seventh was scored by substitute Daniel Sturridge. The newly signed Liverpool man had headed into the post from close range earlier on, but wasn’t going to miss from Ashley Young’s beautiful flying cross. There were twenty minutes left, but with Wayne Rooney substituted, England were maybe not thinking about double figures. The final goal was arguably the best worked. Daniel Sturridge played an exquisite pass to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who chipped the ball into space for Kyle Walker to run onto, and then Walker back passed to Jermain Defoe who clipped the ball in, almost without moving. Roy Hodgson and the players were happy with the win, and the game was an easy one for the England defence, despite San Marino getting a corner out of the game. Although England were let off for that, as they had 21 corners of their own.