England maul Croatia to qualify for World Cup

England vs Croatia

England hammered Croatia 5-1 at Wembley to qualify for next year’s World Cup. England completely controlled the first half and took the lead after just 8 minutes. Aaron Lennon jinking run was ended when Croatian defender Josip Simunic brought him down inside the penalty area. Frank Lampard made no mistake from the spot.

England were two goals up in the 18 minute as Steven Gerrard headed home Aaron Lennon’s superb centre. England extended their lead in the 59th minute Frank Lampard heading home Glen Johnson’s cross. Arsenal striker Eduardo scored a consolation goal in the 73rd minute for the visitors.

It was England who had the last say in the scoring as Wayne Rooney fired home in the 77th minute after a poor clearance from Croatian keeper Vedran Runje fell right at his feet. England have now won seven out of seven games in qualifying.

Elsewhere European champions Spain also confirmed their place in South Africa with a 3-0 defeat of Estonia at the Bernabeu. Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas gave the home side the lead in the 33rd minute. Santi Cazorla doubled their lead in the 79th minute. There was still time for Valencia’s Juan Mata to score in injury time to complete a comfortable victory. The Spanish also have a 100 per cent record in qualifying.

In South America Paraguay booked their ticket for South Africa with a 1-0 victory over Diego Maradona’s Argentina. The only goal was scored by striker Nelson Vaedo Valdez in the 27th minute. Former Lazio and Manchester United midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron received a red card in the 53rd minute. The result leaves Argentina fifth in the group outside of the World Cup qualification places.

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