Jermaine Defoe was England’s hero last night at Wembley as he scored a brilliant hat-trick despite struggling with a groin injury, to seal a win in their opening game for the Euro 2012 qualifiers. Rooney was paired up front with him, but the former’s goal drought continued at international level although he did play his part in the win as well with 3 assists.
Walcott and Hart started in the lineup after being left out in the World Cup, while Defoe scored the opener on 3 minutes itself, as England tried to get the game in their way after Ashley Cole’s initial shot was blocked, and the latter in turn found a pass to Defoe to strike home. No more goals were scored in this half as Bulgaria held on to the 1-goal deficit.
Defoe then scored his double on the 61st minute, as Barry-Gerrard-Rooney combined for the latter to find Defoe to conclude the work. Substitute Adam Johnson then added a third on the 83rd minute, and three minutes later Defoe rounded off his hat-trick to seal England’s win for this 1st qualifier game, and a tricky match now awaits them in Switzerland on Tuesday as they proceed to the 2nd game.
Some other important results are as follows: France were beaten yet again under charge of Laurent Blanc, Les Bleus coming short against Belarus at Stade De France, losing 0-1 in the dying minutes of the game, while Portugal were held on home turf 4-4 by a battling Cyprus side, and Italy managed to overcome a 1-goal deficit against Estonia to eventually win 1-2 away. Germany saw off Belgium away on a 0-1 scoreline, while Netherlands won away as well against San Marino 0-5, with World Champions Spain winning 0-4 away to Liechtenstein.