Last night heralded the return of Wayne Rooney to the international arena.
Banned for the first two group games, England were banking on Rooney to propel them to a quarter-final date with either Spain or Italy.
Showing a little ring-rustiness, Rooney missed something of a sitter in the twenty-seventh minute, deciding to try and glance his header in rather than powering Ashley Young`s cross back in the direction it had come and the other top corner.
But, as England pressed forward, looking for the winner that would guarantee progression in the tournament, Rooney came up trumps. With England having had a corner cleared the ball was worked back out to Steven Gerrard and although is cross took two deflections; Rooney was on hand to head home from all of twelve inches out.
Speaking after the game Rooney had this to say about England`s chances of progressing past the quarter-final tie with Italy remarking to the media,
“Italy will be difficult for us but we believe in ourselves.”
“We expect to do well as a team, whether people expect us to or not. We have stuck together, worked hard and we have a belief.”
“We`re group winners and ready for the challenges ahead. We know our qualities and what we are capable of.”
“Not many teams will fancy playing us. We are difficult to break down and have players to score goals.”
And on getting back on the score-sheet in a major finals tournament, Wayne added,
“I haven`t scored in a major tournament in a while and it was nice to do that with the winning goal.”
A brace in the tie against Italy would go down well though Wayne. But lastly, Wayne complimented his team-mates and the travelling supporters, finishing off with,
“The whole team was fantastic, we defended really well and stuck in there at times against a difficult crowd. Our fans were brilliant and we deserved to win.”
We certainly did, even if it took a bad decision, courtesy of a Hungarian linesman, to ensure we won, but luck evens itself out does it not?
Italy, however, will be a whole new ball game!
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