Wayne Rooney made history during Tuesday’s round of Euro 2016 qualifiers as he became England’s all-time top scorer in their 2-0 win over Switzerland at Wembley.
The Manchester United captain bagged the second from the penalty spot – his 50th international goal – to surpass Sir Bobby Charlton as England’s record marksman.
Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane had earlier come off the bench to put England ahead on 67 minutes as Roy Hodgson’s men guaranteed first place in Group E.
It was so nearly a night to remember for San Marino, also. Matteo Vitaioli netted the minnows’ first away goal in 14 years to draw them level with Lithuania on 55 minutes.
But they remain without a point this campaign after Lukas Spalvis snatched a 2-1 victory for Lithuania, who had goalkeeper Giedrius Arlauskis sent off, in the 92nd minute.
Elsewhere in Group E, Robert Beric scored the only goal of the game in Celje to see Slovenia leapfrog opponents Estonia and put some pressure on Switzerland for second spot.
With Rooney not getting his landmark goal until the 84th minute, his Old Trafford teammate Juan Mata had threatened to steal his thunder with a bizarre goal for Spain across the continent.
The Red Devils playmaker saw his intended cross hit the far post, rebound off Macedonia goalkeeper Tomislav Pacovski and find the net eight minutes into their match in Skopje.
Spain were thankful for Mata’s moment of fortune as it was the only thing that separated them and Group C’s bottom side as they won 1-0 to go two points clear at the top of the table.
United goalkeeper David de Gea started his first competitive game in four months following a summer of transfer turmoil [The Guardian], while Chelsea striker Diego Costa was booked and substituted.
Slovenia, who had a 100% record before this international break, are now two points behind the reigning European champions after they followed Saturday’s defeat to Spain with a 0-0 draw with Ukraine.
That will be the top three in a split pool which sees Belarus in fourth after they cruised to a 2-0 win over Luxembourg, whose squad had been crippled by food poisoning in the days before the game.
Austria qualified for their first major tournament since 1998 courtesy of their 4-1 victory in Sweden, with Martin Harnik scoring twice in between strikes from David Alaba and Marc Janko.
Russia are the favourites to join them from Group G after a 7-0 thrashing of Liechtenstein. Artem Dzjuba did most of the damage with four goals, and Dynamo Moscow striker Aleksandr Kokorin, who was linked with a move to Arsenal in the summer by the Daily Mail, joined him on the scoresheet.
But Montenegro, who brushed aside Moldova, remain in contention ahead of October’s final round of qualifiers. So far, England, Austria, Iceland and Czech Republic have booked their tickets to France.
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