England 4 Slovakia 0 (Wembley 28 March 2009)
On the day that David Beckham broke the record as the most capped outfield player England scored 4 times in their friendly against Slovakia with 3 forwards limping off ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Ukraine on Wednesday. Gerrard turned Pekarik with a drag-back and passed the ball to Heskey who knocked it in from close range in the 7th minute. Heskey who had not scored for England since 2003 almost doubled his tally for the night 2 minutes later but the unmarked striker headed over the bar and was the first player to limp off after only 15 minutes with Carlton Cloe and Peter Crouch following later on in the match. John Terry was in an offside position when he poked in a goal-bound Peter Crouch header in the 62nd minute but 8 minutes later Beckham lifted the ball onto the head of Rooney who doubled England's lead with a firm header into the top corner. Frank Lampard rolled the ball past Senecky for the third in the 82nd minute and deep into stoppage time found Rooney who took the ball past the keeper and dispatched it into the roof of the net with the last kick of the match.
Rooney double lifts England ahead of qualifier
In World Cup qualifiers Northern Ireland enjoyed a 3-2 home win against Poland while The Czech Republic drew 0-0 in Slovenia. Italy moved clear of the pack with a 2-0 win in Montenegro as the Republic of Ireland dropped 2 home points against Bulgaria after their first minute goal was wiped out by an own goal in the second half. Finland finished off Wales in Cardiff with a goal at the end of each half and Scotland suffered a 3-0 loss in Amsterdam. Bosnia & Herzegovina returned from Belgium with a 4-2 victory while Serbia won 3-2 in Romania. Hungary picked up 3 important points in group 1 with a 1-0 win in Albania while yet another goalless draw saw Portugal and Sweden drop points in Porto. France enhanced their chances of qualification with a single Frank Ribery goal in Lithuania and Spain continued their 100 percent record with a narrow 1-0 win at home to Turkey. In Asia Iran suffered a huge blow losing 2-1 at home to Saudi Arabia while North Korea defeated the UAE 2-0 in Pyongyang. Japan took a step closer to the finals after beating Bahrain 1-0 in Saitama. In Africa Cameroon lost 1-0 in Togo to an Emmanuel Adebayor goal while Gabon stunned Morocco winning 2-1 in Casablanca. Moumouni Dagano scored twice for Burkina Faso as they swept Guinea aside 4-2 in group 5 where Didier Drogba and Bakari Kone scored 2 each for the Ivory Coast in the 5-0 win over Malawi which was overshadowed by the death and injury of many fans after a wall collapsed at the stadium in Abidjan. Egypt were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Zambia. South American leaders Paraguay lost 2-0 in Uruguay while Messi inspired Argentina to a 4-0 win over Venezuela. A dominant Ecuador needed a late goal in Quito to draw 1-1 with Brazil who slipped into 4th place as Chile punished 10-man Chile 3-1 in Lima. In North America Mexico were the only winners winning 2-0 at home to Costa Rica as Honduras drew 1-1 in Trinidad & Tobago and the USA had to come from behind to draw 2-2 in El Salvador.