Theo Walcott has scored England’s 27th goal in Euro 2016 qualifying to give Roy Hodgson’s side a 1-0 half-time lead over Estonia at Wembley Stadium.
Estonia went into tonight’s game having conceded just six goals in eight qualifiers, but their frugal defence was opened up in the final minute of the first half by a superb pass from Everton’s Ross Barkley, who played the ball to Walcott in the centre of the penalty area.
Walcott’s clinical finish gave him his eighth senior goal for England – on his 42nd appearance for his country.
England deserve their half-time lead. Walcott’s goal came from his side’s 15th shot of the match – one of six to have hit the target.
Head coach Hodgson was unable to use captain Wayne Rooney tonight due to an ankle injury, according to the Daily Mail, so all the pre-match talk was about who would start up front.
Walcott and Harry Kane were the main contenders, and it was the Tottenham Hotspur man who got the nod, with Arsenal’s longest-serving player pushed out into a wider position in a 4-3-3 formation.
However, Walcott spent much of the first half in a central position, playing off Kane, who has struggled to get into the contest.
England are the only side in Europe to have won all their matches so far in this qualifying campaign. Another win tonight would leave the Three Lions on 27 points from nine games.
Victory over Estonia would also guarantee that England go into Euro 2016 as a top seed.