By Alan Duffy
A couple of crackers from Jack Wilshere, along with Wayne Rooney’s 48th senior international goal, secured a hard-fought but deserved win for England away to Slovenia.
Roy Hodgson’s men almost took an early lead when Raheem Sterling fired over with only Samir Handanovic to beat.
Wayne Rooney was then foiled by a fine save from Inter Milan glovesman Handanovic.
However, on 37 minutes, the England defence was far too easily cut apart, with veteran Milivoje Novakovic latching on to a superb Josip Illicic through ball before coolly slotting past Joe Hart.
At half-time, Hodgson took off Phil Jones, who had been poor in the first 45, replacing the defender with playmaker Adam Lallana (with Jordan Henderson slotting in at right-back).
Soon after the re-start, Lallana’s run into the Slovenian box eventually saw the ball fall to Wilshere, who fired home a superb effort beyond Handanovic.
Wayne Rooney then failed to capitalise on not one, but two superb chances.
However, the second England goal eventually did come, with Wilshere producing another superb finish after a fine England passing move.
The Three Lions looked headed for a comfortable victory only for Nejc Petnik to rise above Kieran Gibbs and head home an equaliser on 84 minutes.
England, though, hit back just two minutes later, with Rooney finally netting his 48 goal for England, putting him level with Gary Lineker as his country’s second-highest scorer (behind Bobby Charlton with 49).
The visitors held on to make it six wins out of six in Group E, with qualification for France 2016 now looking like a formality.
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