International Friendly: Two-goal Rooney tames Scotland and closes on goal record

Frank Dalleres
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Rooney’s double took him to within three goals of Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time England record of 49
Three Lions subdue Celtic Park to finish turbulent year in galvanising fashion


ENGLAND manager Roy Hodgson congratulated Wayne Rooney on a landmark few days after his captain followed up winning a 100th cap with two goals to settle international football’s oldest rivalry.

Midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain silenced a fervent crowd by putting Hodgson’s men ahead before Rooney’s brace, either side of defender Andrew Robertson’s strike, sank in-form Scotland.

A sixth win in a row provided a comforting end to a difficult year for Hodgson, who was equally satisfied to see Rooney’s 46th England goal take him to within three of Sir Bobby Charlton’s England record.

“Wayne Rooney’s got to be delighted with his couple of days, from Saturday to now,” said Hodgson, whose men beat Slovenia 3-1 at the weekend. “First he picks up his 100th cap and a goal, and then he takes part in a game where we’ve beaten Scotland away from home and he’s scored two.”

Rooney, who epitomised an unusually robust England display, cherished “a special night”. “I’m just happy to score goals for England,” he added. “It’s an unbelievable feeling. Tonight was very special feeling for me to score two at Celtic Park as England beat Scotland.”

England’s pre-match fears were borne out by a hostile Celtic Park reception for God Save The Queen, but they quickly subdued the crowd by outdoing the hosts’ intensity.

Defender Gary Cahill headed wide from a dangerous Stewart Downing corner and forward Danny Welbeck shot at goalkeeper David Marshall’s legs as Scotland’s record of just one defeat in 10 came under early threat.

Oxlade-Chamberlain gave the visitors a deserved lead in the 32nd minute when he escaped Robertson to glance the faintest of headers onto Jack Wilshere’s elegant cross-field ball.

Scottish hopes of a second-half response were dented just two minutes after the interval when Wilshere’s shot into a crowded box ricocheted kindly for Rooney to nod his 45th international goal.

Robertson reignited Scotland’s comeback hopes seven minutes from time when the Hull left-back left Raheem Sterling standing, swapped passes with Johnny Russell and beat Forster at his near post.

But Rooney played party-pooper once again moments later when the Manchester United star crowned a fluid one-touch move by converting substitute Adam Lallana’s cut-back.