Qualifying round (Group H) - 15/10/2013 - 21:00CET (20:00 local time) - Wembley Stadium - London

England - Poland 2-0 - 15/10/2013 - Match page - FIFA World Cup 2014

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Rooney, Gerrard book England's World Cup place

Published: Tuesday 15 October 2013, 22.52CET
England 2-0 Poland
England gained the victory they needed to guarantee their presence in Brazil, Steven Gerrard adding to Wayne Rooney's first-half opener.
by Wayne Harrison
from Wembley
Rooney, Gerrard book England's World Cup place
Steven Gerrard wheels away after sealing England's qualification ©Getty Images

Match statistics


Goals scored2
Total attempts24
Attempts on target9
off target9
against woodwork1
Yellow cards2
Red Cards0
Fouls committed7
Fouls suffered7


Last updated: 16/10/2013 12:56 CET


P: Played   
Pts: Points   

Published: Tuesday 15 October 2013, 22.52CET

Rooney, Gerrard book England's World Cup place

England 2-0 Poland
England gained the victory they needed to guarantee their presence in Brazil, Steven Gerrard adding to Wayne Rooney's first-half opener.

Goals from Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard secured England victory against Poland on a tense night at Wembley – and a place at the 2014 FIFA World Cup as Group H winners.

Almost 40 years to the day since the heroics of Jan Tomaszewski earned Poland a draw here – a result that booked the visitors a berth at the 1974 finals at their opponents' expense – Rooney's 41st-minute intervention and Gerrard's late clincher ensured history did not repeat itself.

The decibel level, enhanced by the presence of 18,000 visiting supporters, was ratcheted up when Robert Lewandowski received possession from Wojciech Szczęsny, ran two-thirds of the pitch and warmed the palms of Joe Hart. England's response was swift, with Andros Townsend, star of the show against Montenegro four days earlier, eliciting a save from Wojciech Szczęsny.

The first half was a rip-roaring affair, play instantly flowing from one end to the other, typified when Waldemar Fornalik's side broke following an England corner. Adrian Mierzejewski led the charge down the right, feeding Jakub Błaszczykowski, whose dummy left Lewandowski with just Hart to beat. The Borussia Dortmund striker, normally so clinical, placed his shot wide.

Back came the reprieved hosts, Townsend rattling the crossbar and Daniel Sturridge, seizing on the rebound, having a shot beaten away by Szczęsny. After Daniel Welbeck stabbed wide following a corner, the Arsenal FC keeper excelled again, stopping a drive from Rooney.

He was powerless, though, to keep out the No10's glancing header before the break, Rooney rising to meet a delicious cross from overlapping left-back Leighton Baines.

The second period continued in a similar vein to the first – at breakneck speed – with Poland keen to play the role of spoilers. However, it was not long before Szczęsny picked up from where he left off before the interval, parrying Gary Cahill's header after the defender had connected with Gerrard's corner.

Yet the Poland threat endured, Lewandowski causing England hearts to skip a beat when he raced through on Hart; so did the brilliance of Szczęsny, who tipped wide Rooney's curler and then a stinging Sturridge attempt. Gerrard's tidy finish though, after a thrusting run into the box, meant Roy Hodgson's men could finally breathe easy. 

Last updated: 16/10/13 2.20CET

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