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Rooney scores twice as England beats Scotland 3-1

November 18, 2014

GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — England captain Wayne Rooney scored twice as his side beat fierce rival Scotland 3-1 in a friendly match at Celtic Park on Tuesday.

England went ahead in the first half through an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain header, before Rooney stuck twice either side of a goal from Scotland’s Andrew Robertson in the second half.

“We expected to win the game and we were the better team,” Rooney said. “England v Scotland is a massive game, tonight is a fantastic victory against a Scotland team who are in good form and we’ve come here, shown our class and deserved the victory.”

England manager Roy Hodgson made six changes to the side that beat Slovenia 3-1 in a Euro 2016 qualifier at Wembley on Saturday, including replacing Raheem Sterling with Stewart Downing in the starting lineup.

Downing almost made an immediate impression with an assist, but defender Gary Cahill headed Downing’s corner wide when unmarked after three minutes.

England kept attacking and Danny Welbeck shot straight at goalkeeper David Marshall two minutes later after Scotland defender Steven Whitaker was caught in possession.

Scotland were backed by a vociferous home crowd inside Celtic Park but failed to create a chance to worry England in the first half, and the visitors duly took the lead in the 32nd minute.

Jack Wilshere floated an ambitious diagonal pass into the Scotland penalty area and picked out the run of his Arsenal teammate Oxlade-Chamberlain, who had darted between Grant Hanley and Robertson before directing a glancing header past Marshall.

Rooney then doubled England’s lead two minutes after halftime.

Charlie Mulgrew, unable to keep up with the pace of Oxlade-Chamberlain, hauled the attacker to the ground and Scotland failed to clear the resultant free-kick from James Milner.

Luke Shaw drilled the ball low into the penalty area and an attempted clearance from Robertson drifted invitingly in front of Rooney, who headed past halftime substitute goalkeeper Craig Gordon.

Scotland almost replied four minutes later when a looping header from Russell Martin was tipped over the crossbar by Fraser Forster.

But England, through the midfield duo of Wilshere and Milner, seemed to have hold of the game at 2-0 until Robertson gave Scotland fans hope for a dramatic late comeback with a well-taken goal in the 83rd.

The left-back eased past the substitute Sterling, exchanged passes with Johnny Russell, burst into England’s penalty area and beat Forster from close range at his near post.

But Rooney dashed Scottish hopes of a comeback two minutes later, smashing in a cutback from Adam Lallana to secure victory with his 46th England goal.

“I don’t think we did ourselves justice tonight,” Scotland and Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher said. “We wanted to do everyone proud tonight but could not do that. We lost goals at bad times, at the start of the second half and then we get back to 2-1 and we lose a goal straight away again.”

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