August 3, 2021
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first_imgEngland captain Wayne Rooney scored twice to lead the Three Lions to victory over Scotland in the nations’ first clash north of the border in 15 years.The Manchester United forward’s 46th international goal means he is now just three away from equalling World Cup winner Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time scoring record.Fans expecting another heated meeting between the Home Nations rivals were treated to a lively 90 minutes, with Celtic Park exploding with multiple choruses of Flower of Scotland, complete with bagpipes, throughout.But the home support were largely silenced by the final whistle, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wayne Rooney scoring either side of the half-time break to give England a two-goal lead.The Scots did pull one back with seven minutes to play, Hull full-back Andy Robertson giving the hosts hope of a late comeback with a well crafted goal.But that hope was shattered just two minutes later when Rooney clinically finished off a swift counter-attack to hand the Three Lions an impressive win.Roy Hodgson’s side looked refreshed compared to the weekend’s performance against Slovenia, where a laboured 3-1 win belied an overall poor display, though both sides struggled to create any real clear-cut chances in the opening half.It was Danny Welbeck who had the first sight of goal, the in-form Arsenal forward combining well with Rooney and Stewart Downing – back in the England team for the first time in two and a half years – in midfield before scampering free on the left, though his scuffed effort was routinely saved.Rooney then had a chance to spring free off the Scottish back-four when Welbeck robbed captain Scott Brown of possession, though his over-hit through ball had too much pace for his former United team-mate.Some tasty tackles then began to creep in as the game heated up, with a fired-up Welbeck flying in with a really well timed tackle on Maloney, who then responded in turn with a tough-but-fair challenge on the forwardIt wasn’t one-way traffic though, with the visitors finding themselves pegged back midway through the opening half as the hosts looked to delight the home crowd with the opening goal, though England’s scrappy defence managed to stand firm.Chances dried up on the half-hour mark, but England were suddenly one-up out of nothing with a goal made in London. Arsenal star Jack Wilshere launched a brilliant Hollywood-pass into the box which was met by an untracked Oxlade-Chamberlain, who flicked it into the net with the deftest of headers on 32 minutes.Scotland tried to up the tempo as half-time appoached, but they had very little attacking joy despite a greater share of possession.Rooney then got the second-half off to a brilliant start when he netted his first of the night within two minutes of the restart, the skipper reacting quickest in the box to head in after the Scots failed to clear.Tackles continued to fly in on all areas of the pitch, with England showing real passion with some tenacious tracking as Scotland, frankly, looked beaten.Wilshere then had the chance to cap off a man-of-the-match performance with a fully deserved goal, but fired wide on the volley after good wing play from Oxlade-Chamberlain.But a reshuffle from Gordon Strachan saw his side claw their way back into the tie, with substitute Johnny Russell instantly making a difference in Scotland’s attack, with the Derby striker bypassing the England defence with neat one-two to set up Robertson, who poked in at Fraser Forster’s near post.The last laugh went to the Auld Enemy, though, as a lightning counter-attack found substitute Adam Lallana on the right, with the Liverpool man perfectly picking out Rooney who couldn’t miss from the centre of the box, rounding off a superb week for the Three Lions.Meanwhile, Robbie Brady helped himself to a superb double as the Republic of Ireland bounced back from their Euro 2016 disappointment to put the United States to the sword.Scotland emerged 1-0 victors in last week’s qualifying meeting, but Martin O’Neill’s much-changed side ran riot at the Aviva Stadium, with Brady’s late free-kick the highlight of a 4-1 win.Anthony Pilkington opened the scoring after just seven minutes before Mix Diskerud equalised for the visitors, but Brady’s brace and one further goal from Wigan’s James McClean sealed a dominant triumph. England captain Wayne Rooney celebrates his second goal against Scotland 1last_img read more