Saturday, September 4, 1999 Published at 18:53 GMT 19:53 UK
Shearer leads England rout
Alan Shearer (right) celebrates his first hat-trick in an England jersey
England 6-0 Luxembourg
Shearer's Newcastle team-mate Kieron Dyer was dynamic on his debut, providing two of the skipper's goals as England demolished their lowly opposition with five goals before half-time.
It means victory in Poland on Wednesday will secure a Euro 2000 play-off place for Kevin Keegan's men.
After the game Shearer hit back at critics of his recent Newcastle performances.
"I didn't need a confidence boost, I need chances," he said.
"I listened to Kevin Keegan and Bobby Robson and as long as I have pleased them, I'm happy. I don't listen to discredited people. I don't listen to anyone else."
There were eight changes from the team which drew in Bulgaria in the last match.
Keegan had surprised many with his selection - recalling veteran Stuart Pearce, 37, and playing 20-year-old debutant Dyer at right back. Pearce became the oldest outfield player to represent England since Stanley Matthews.
Shearer has endured a tough fortnight at Newcastle. But the captain soon had a smile on his face as England ripped into Luxembourg in front of 68,000 fans.
Shearer sent the goalkeeper the wrong way for his 25th international goal.
His second came on 27 minutes after Robbie Fowler had slid the ball invitingly into his path from a clever knock-down.
Then two minutes later he set up England's third when he stepped over a low Ray Parlour cross to the near post to allow Steve McManaman to side-foot home his first England goal.
Dyer, overlapping McManaman on the right, cheekily dodged one defender before setting up his captain and Newcastle team-mate. Shearer rifled the ball home.
With Luxembourg overrun, England made it five two minutes before half-time.
It was a more subdued England that returned after the break, with Gary Neville replacing Dyer.
It looked as though Owen had missed the chance to open his Wembley account, sending a couple of chances wide, but in the last minute he looked up from 25 yards and curled a delightful shot into the far right corner to seal England's win.
Luxembourg: Felgen, Feron, Schauls, Birsens, Funck, Saibene, Theis, Vanek, Christophe, Schnieder, Posing. Subs: Besic, L. Deville, Schaack, Alverdi, F. Deville, Thill, Zaritski.