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Last Updated: Saturday, 5 June, 2004, 16:19 GMT 17:19 UK
England crush Iceland
England 6-1 Iceland

England striker Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney sparked England to an emphatic win over Iceland and a morale- boosting send-off to Euro 2004.

Frank Lampard's deflected shot put England on their way, with Rooney doubling the lead from close range.

Rooney rifled in a spectacular 25-yard shot to make it three, before Heidar Helguson pulled one back for Iceland.

Darius Vassell stabbed home England's fourth goal, Wayne Bridge drove in his first for his country before Vassell's curling shot rounded off victory.

England carved out the first chance of the game on four minutes when Paul Scholes made a characteristic surge to get on the end of Gary Neville's inviting cross only to volley over from six yards.

Iceland's five-man midfield initially made it difficult for England to play their way through and the visitors were defending comfortably and in-depth.

That showed on 15 minutes when David Beckham clipped a ball up for Ashley Cole at the far post but as Rooney hesitated Joey Gudjonsson nipped in to intercept the nod down.

Wayne Rooney celebrates with Gary Neville
High fives all round with Rooney and Gary Neville

England began to increase the tempo and should have taken the lead on 18 minutes.

Beckham's inswinging left-wing corner found Lampard unmarked and from six yards out but the Chelsea midfielder planted his header wide.

But in the space of two minutes the complexion of the game changed completely with two England goals.

Lampard made amends for his earlier miss by giving England the lead on 24 minutes, collecting Scholes' neat pass and rifling in a shot from 25 yards which deflected off Hermann Hreidarsson to wrong-foot keeper Arni Arason.

Iceland's defence was caught napping at a throw-in two minutes later. Gary Neville broke free from Beckham's throw to work his way to the bye-line before pulling the ball perfectly back into Rooney's path for the Everton teenager to sidefoot home.

Rooney was in a bullish mood after recent question marks over his temperament and club form, and he emphatically fired England into a 3-0 lead on 37 minutes.

Scholes played the ball back to Rooney 27 yards out, and the Everton youngster's first touch teed the ball up perfectly for him to rasp an unstoppable half-volley past Arason.

KEY MOMENTS
25 mins: Lampard fires England ahead
27 mins: Rooney side-foots England further ahead
37 mins: Rooney's piledriver gives England 3-0 lead
41 mins: Sloppy England defending allows Helgason to make it 3-1
56 mins: Vassell is on the spot to put England 4-1 up
67 mins: Wayne Bridge makes it 5-1
77 mins: Vassell curls in England's sixth

But England's defensive frailties emerged on 40 minutes when Hreidarsson headed a corner across goal and England's ham-fisted attempts to clear allowed Helguson to head home from close range.

Beckham was among England's half-time procession of substitutes, ahead of a pre-arranged injection at a Manchester hospital to remove a cyst from his back.

Ledley King had a powerful header cleared off the line by Toddy Gudjonsson before Darius Vassell extended England's lead on 57 minutes.

Owen Hargreaves fired in a low, raking shot and Indridi Sigurdsson's clearance rebounded into the net off the Aston Villa striker.

Joe Cole held his head in embarrassment as he fired wide from 10 yards with only the keeper to beat but it made little difference as Wayne Bridge scored England's fifth on 67 minutes, collecting Heskey's flick-on to head home.

England were not finished and Vassell curled an exquisite shot around Arason for England's sixth on 77 minutes.


England: Robinson, G Neville, A Cole, Campbell, Carragher, Gerrard, Lampard, Scholes, Beckham, Rooney, Owen.

Iceland: Arason, Ingimarsson, Indridi Sigurdsson, Marteinsson, Hreidarsson, Helguson, Thordur Gudjonsson, Johannes Gudjonsson, Gretarsson, Gudjohnsen, Helgi Sigurdsson. Subs: Finnbogason, Kristjan Orn Sigurdsson, Helgason, Jonsson, Tryggvi Gudmundsson, Bjarni Gudjonsson, Baldvinsson, Johann Gudmundsson.

Referee: Jan Wegereef (Holland).

Attendance: 43,500.





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