Rooney Nets Winner in Tricky Tallinn Tie

Soccer - UEFA Euro 2016 - Qualifying - Group E - Estonia v England - A. Le Coq Arena

Estonia 0-1 England

The Three Lions maintained their 100% win record in Group E with a comfortable win against 10-man Estonia. Despite dominating the match, England did not take their chances and Wayne Rooney took only one of his. He netted a second half free-kick in front of an expectant crowd in the A. Le Coq Arena in Tallinn.

The home side had few chances, but their first came within the opening two minutes. As national hero Konstantin Vassiljev broke free, he passed to Blackpool striker Sergei Zenjov. The forward striked low, but his shot was deflected by Cahill for a corner. This showed the difference in class between the likes of San Marino and Estonia. The first England chance came on the fifteenth minute. A very good Jack Wilshere pass was volleyed forward by Rooney, but his strike travelled just over the bar.

A little later, Rooney’s cross field pass met Welbeck perfectly. He dummied his shot, then was denied by goalkeeper Sergei Pareiko from a tight angle. The next chance came just seconds later. As Jack Wilshere intercepted Estonian Vunk, he ran at the defence before skewing his shot just wide. Rooney headed wide and Henderson’s long range volley was caught before the break.

The Estonian captain is Ragnar Klavan. He plays Augsburg in the German Busdesliga. But Klavan lasted barely two minutes of the second half. He was already on the referee’s books, but after blatantly blocking off Fabian Delph’s run, he was sent off. The ‘Blueshirts’ would play the vast majority of the second half with ten men.

The killer moment came in the seventy-fourth minute. Substitute Raheem Sterling was brought down by Vunk, and Rooney claimed his second free-kick chance. He stepped up, and whipped the ball to the front post. The goalkeeper batted the ball onto the post, then into the net and England had a vital lead, from an excellent free-kick. The lead was, with total certainty, deserved and despite the odd counter from Estonia, England were in control throughout. After gaining the late lead, England started to get a little sloppy, and only substitutes Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sterling looked in the mood to try and increase the goal separation. In stoppage time, a fantastic long ball from Oxlade-Chamberlain met Wayne Rooney beautifully. The Manchester United forward then scraped the ball on target, but against the likely outcome, the one-on-one ended with a fantastic save by Pareiko from point-blank range. The match ended Estonia 0-1 England in Tallinn. Three wins from three qualifiers for England, and eight goals scored with no reply.

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