England successful over San Marino
Written By: Robert Halter
England were back at home in the early part of October for the European qualifier against San Marino. In the fifth minute, San Marino keeper, Simoncini was penalised and from Rooney’s free kick, Simoncini let the ball slip from his gloves but Welbeck was unable to convert the rebound. San Marino kept defending in numbers and three minutes later, Rooney was unable to find a way through after a strong delivery by Cahill. In the nineteenth minute, Rooney tried a shot from long range but his deflected effort was comfortably collected by Simoncini. Two minutes later, Wilshere lofted a ball over to Welbeck but the England attack broke down as Simoncini picked the ball up. But midway through the first half, Sterling ran at the San Marino defence which forced Simoncini to palm the ball behind for a corner which was swung in by Milner and an unmarked Jagielka sent a soaring header crashing into the net as a helpless Simoncini was unable to keep the ball out, after losing his footing. In the twenty eighth minute, Welbeck and Gibbs combined on the left and after the ball was pulled back to Henderson, his shot was blocked. Sterling won another corner in the thirty second minute which was taken by Milner but Cahill was unable to win a header and as Simoncini swung wildly, the ball went out of play. Two minutes later, San Marino pressed forward after interplay between Selva and Vitaioli which was administered under the watchful eye of Hart, as the ball went wide. England had the game under control and after build up play from Welbeck, the ball was switched across to Wilshere from Henderson but the move broke down in the thirty sixth minute. But on forty two minutes, Simoncini produced an outstanding save by tipping over Welbeck’s goal bound effort, after a ball across from Gibbs. But from the resulting corner by Milner, an overhead kick by Welbeck resulted in Tosi producing a high footed challenge on Rooney which gave away a penalty. Rooney made no mistake by converting the spot kick high into the top right corner and sending Simoncini the wrong way. At halftime the Three Lions brought on Lallana and Oxlade-Chamberlain as Henderson and Sterling left the field of play. England looked to press home their advantage and three minutes after the re-start, Simoncini had to smother the ball from Wilshere, after Chambers and Milner created an opening. But San Marino had their hopes short lived, as a minute later England got a third through the power and pace of Oxlade-Chamberlain, who ran forward and sent a perfect delivery for Welbeck to slot the ball in from close range. England continued to press but a long range strike by Wilshere sailed over in the fifty seventh minute but the Three Lions kept up the pressure and two minutes later, Simoncini was forced to tip around the post a close range header by Oxlade-Chamberlain. On just over the hour mark, Wilshere produced a sublime over the top ball to Rooney, who was unable to beat Simoncini, when one on one with the keeper. A legitimate England goal was then disallowed, when from Rooney’s pull back, a shot from Oxlade-Chamberlain was deflected into the net off Lallana but it was given as offside. A San Marino change was made as Gasperoni came on for Tosi and England took off Welbeck for Townsend, who grabbed a fourth in the seventy second minute, after cutting back from the right and then unleashing a crisp strike that crashed into the net. After a foul by Chambers on Vitaoli, San Marino brought on Buscarini for Palazzi and then the free kick was taken by Vitaioli which was easily claimed by Hart. But San Marino’s night was summed up when Valle deflected the ball into his own net from Rooney’s ball across in the seventy eighth minute. Near the end San Marino brought on Rinaldi for Selva but it was England that were prevented a further goal, after Brolli hooked off the line, Townsend’s side footed effort from a ball over by Milner but by then England had secured a comprehensive 5-0 victory.