England walks over Bulgaria

England walks over Bulgaria

Published Sep. 2, 2011 1:00 a.m. ET

Wayne Rooney scored two first-half goals as England cruised to a 3-0 victory over Bulgaria in Euro 2012 qualifying Friday.

Defender Gary Cahill grabbed his first goal for England in the 13th minute, beating goalkeeper Nikolay Mihaylov as he toppled to the ground.

Rooney twice punished Bulgaria's casual defending. He beat his marker to head in a corner from Stewart Downing in the 21st minute, and then tapped in a ball on the break just before half time.

England leads Group G with 14 points from six games. Bulgaria, coached by former German great Lothar Matthaeus, has five points.


England's victory was as comfortable as its home 4-0 win over Bulgaria in its opening Group G match.

Coach Fabio Capello picked Tottenham's Scott Parker and Manchester City's Gareth Barry in central midfield, meaning Frank Lampard was left out of a competitive match for England for the first time since 2007.

Matthaeus fielded five defenders, but his side still struggled at the back. Spells of pressure, and boisterous fans at Vasil Levski stadium, failed to help Bulagria score a qualifying goal at home at the third attempt.

England goalkeeper Joe Hart blocked a close-range header from Aston Villa midfielder Stiliyan Petrov 10 minutes into the second half - Bulgaria's only clear chance.

Downing answered for England a minute later, heading down a skillful cross from Theo Walcott, but the ball struck the far post with Mihaylov again beaten.



Bulgaria: Nikolay Mihaylov, Petar Zanev, Nikolay Bodurov, Blagoy Georgiev, Ivelin Popov (Marquinho, 81), Ivan Bandalovski, Ivan Ivanov, Zhivko Milanov, Martin Petrov, Stilian Petrov, Tsvetan Genkov (Gerogi Bozhilov, 62).

England: Joe Hart, Chris Smalling, Ashley Cole, Gary Cahill, John Terry, Theo Walcott (Adam Johnson, 83), Scott Parker, Gareth Barry (Frank Lampard, 80), Ashley Young (James Milner, 61), Wayne Rooney, Stewart Downing.