World Cup: England ease to comprehensive victory over San Marino
England put in a professional performance against San Marino to run out 8-0 winners in their 2014 World Cup qualifier.
By Chris Burton
Last Updated: 23/03/13 7:51am
The Three Lions were under pressure to fill their boots against a side ranked 207th in the FIFA rankings, and did just that courtesy of an early own-goal and further efforts from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jermain Defoe (2), Ashley Young, Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge.
San Marino, as expected, looked to get plenty of men behind the ball and frustrate England from the off, but their resistance lasted just 12 minutes.
With Oxlade-Chamberlain having already hit the crossbar for the visitors, the lively Leighton Baines was sent clear down the left flank and he fired over a low cross which was turned into his own net by the unfortunate Alessandro Della Valle.
England had to wait until the 29th minute before adding a second, with Oxlade-Chamberlain displaying quick feet before exchanging passes with Rooney and stroking home a composed left-footed strike.
Defoe was denied by an assistant's flag five minutes later, but got his goal within 60 seconds of seeing one chalked off as Rooney floated a cross to the back post and Oxlade-Chamberlain nodded down to present the Tottenham striker with a tap-in.
England were running riot by that stage and made it four on 39 minutes as Young crashed a spectacular 35-yard drive in off the underside of the crossbar for his first goal of the season.
Three minutes before half-time Lampard got in on the act, with the Chelsea midfielder marking his 95th appearance for his country with a controlled first-time effort after being picked out by the rampaging Baines.
The second half promised more of the same from Roy Hodgson's side, with Rooney seeing an effort tipped over the top. The Manchester United striker was clearly desperate to get his name on the scoresheet, and got his reward on 54 minutes when he clipped a delicate 25-yard free-kick over the wall and past a helpless Aldo Simoncini.
The inevitable changes started to arrive shortly after the sixth goal, with England turning one eye towards Tuesday's crucial clash with Montenegro.
With their foot taken slightly off the gas, San Marino were able to muster their first shot on goal and win their first corner - both of which posed little threat to Joe Hart.
That was to be as good as it got for the hosts, though, and they were breached for a seventh time on 70 minutes, with Young delivering for Sturridge to nod his first senior international goal.
Defoe made it eight seven minutes later, turning home a low cross from club colleague Kyle Walker.
|San Marino||Team Statistics||England|
|0||1st Half Goals||5|
|0||Shots on Target||12|
|2||Shots off Target||10|
|14.5||1st Half Poss.||85.5|
|18.2||2nd Half Poss.||81.8|