Rooney one goal from Eng­land record, Del Bosque at 100 games

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY JOSEPH WIL­SON

Wayne Rooney closed to within one goal of Eng­land’s all- time scor­ing record on Sun­day, while Vi­cente del Bosque reached his 100th game in charge of Spain with a victory in Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship qual­i­fy­ing.

Rooney moved to the brink of match­ing Bobby Charl­ton’s Eng­land scor­ing mile­stone of 49 goals by clinch­ing a 3- 2 victory over Slove­nia.

In Be­larus, David Silva gave Spain a hard­erthan- ex­pected 1- 0 win to en­sure Del Bosque could cel­e­brate his 100th match in charge of the twotime de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons.

Slo­vakia re­mained with Eng­land as the only sides to have won all six group qual­i­fiers af­ter see­ing off Mace­do­nia 2- 1 to stay top of Group C, three points ahead of Spain.

Rus­sia, mean­while, slumped to a 1- 0 home loss to Aus­tria and has an up­hill climb to earn au­to­matic qual­i­fi­ca­tion for the 2016 fi­nals in France as one of the top two teams in each group.

Group E

Rooney matched Gary Lineker’s Eng­land haul of 48 goals as Eng­land kept its com­mand­ing lead of Group E.

Jack Wil­shere fi­nally bagged his first goals for Eng­land in his 28th in­ter­na­tional, scor­ing twice from out­side the area. The two strikes in Ljubl­jana by the Ar­se­nal mid­fielder wiped out Slove­nia’s 1- 0 half­time lead, which Milivoje No­vakovic had pro­vided.

Although Nejc Pec­nik pro­duced an 84th- minute lev­eler, Rooney pounced two min­utes later af­ter col­lect­ing a pass from sub­sti­tute Theo Wal­cott.

Eng­land com­pleted the sea­son un­beaten for the first time in 24 years — 12 months af­ter the team ex­ited the World Cup in the group stage with one point.

Eng­land has a six- point lead over Switzer­land, which beat Lithua­nia 2- 1, and a nine- point ad­van­tage over Slove­nia.

The Swiss had to come from be­hind to win in Lithua­nia, with goals from Josip Dr­mic and Xher­dan Shaqiri push­ing them up to sec­ond.

Sergei Zen­jov scored twice to lift Es­to­nia to fourth place, two points be­hind Slove­nia, with a 2- 0 victory over San Marino.

Group C

Silva con­verted Spain’s strong first- half per­for­mance into a goal just be­fore the break, smash­ing in a cross from Cesc Fabre­gas that goal­keeper An­drei Gor­bunov had mis­judged.

How­ever, Iker Casil­las had to pro­tect Spain’s ad­van­tage with some timely saves in the sec­ond half.

It was Spain’s 78th victory, to go with eight draws and 14 losses, since Del Bosque’s de­but in Au­gust 2008.

In Zilina, Kor­nel Salata started in place of in­jured de­fender Jan Durica and re­sponded by head­ing in Slo­vakia’s eighth- minute opener. Marek Ham­sik made it 2- 0 in the 38th be­fore Ari- jan Ademi pulled one back for Mace­do­nia in the 69th.

Ukraine beat Lux­em­bourg 3- 0 to stay in third place, three points adrift of Spain.

Be­larus was left on four points, ahead of Mace­do­nia with three and Lux­em­bourg with one.

Group G

Marc Janko scored with a spec­tac­u­lar over­head kick as Aus­tria main­tained its grip on Group G with an away win over Rus­sia.

Janko’s win­ner came in the 33rd minute af­ter Rus­sia’s De­nis Glushakov has blocked two at­tempts by Zlatko Juno­zovic in­side the penalty area. The re­bound rose high and Janko timed his jump per­fectly to score with his back to goal.

The re­sult means Aus­tria re­mains un­de­feated in the group with 16 points, eight clear of Rus­sia, which is third.

Coach Fabio Capello’s team has only won two of its last 10 com­pet­i­tive matches, in­clud­ing a win by de­fault due to crowd trou­ble in Mon­tene­gro.

The Rus­sians lost ground also to sec­ond- placed Swe­den, which moved to 12 points by beat­ing Mon­tene­gro 3- 1 thanks to two goals by Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic.

At the bot­tom of the group ta­ble, Liecht­en­stein and Moldova drew 1- 1 in Vaduz.

AP

Eng­land’s Wayne Rooney, top, is chal­lenged by Slove­nia’s Mitja Viter dur­ing the Euro 2016 Group E qual­i­fy­ing soc­cer match be­tween Slove­nia and Eng­land, in Ljubl­jana, Slove­nia on Sun­day, June 14.

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