Rooney scores on 100th appearance to spark England win

Sat Nov 15, 2014 2:17pm EST
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By Mike Collett

LONDON (Reuters) - Wayne Rooney celebrated his 100th England cap by scoring a penalty to lead his team to a 3-1 win over Slovenia in a Euro 2016 Group E qualifier at Wembley on Saturday which only came to life after halftime.

The England skipper scored with a thunderous spot-kick after 59 minutes having been fouled by Slovenia captain Bostjan Cesar to move level with Jimmy Greaves as his country's joint-third highest scorer on 44 goals.

He is now just five goals behind Bobby Charlton's all-time record of 49 England goals.

Rooney's equalizer came two minutes after Slovenia took the lead when Milivoje Novakovic whipped in a free kick and Jordan Henderson sent a header flying past Joe Hart for an own goal.

England secured victory with two goals from Danny Welbeck who struck after 66 minutes with a scrappy left-foot shot before making it 3-1 six minutes later after fine build-up play culminated in a superb one-two with Raheem Sterling. He has now scored five times in his last four England appearances.

The victory maintained England's perfect start to the campaign and they head the standings with 12 points from their opening four matches.

Slovenia are second with six points from four games and although they were more adventurous in the second half, they posed virtually no attacking threat in a turgid opening 45 minutes.

The only attempt either team had on goal before halftime was when Jasmin Kurtic forced his goalkeeper Samir Handanovic to make a save to stop what would otherwise have been an own goal.   Continued...

England captain Wayne Rooney (C) celebrates after scoring from a penalty kick during their Euro 2016 Group E qualifying soccer match against Slovenia at Wembley Stadium in London November 15, 2014.      REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett