FOOTBALL NEWS

San Marino 0-8 ENGLAND
Played: Wayne Rooney (scored 1), Ashley Young (scored 1), Tom Cleverley, Chris Smalling

NETHERLANDS 3-0 Estonia
Played: Robin van Persie (scored 1)

JAPAN 2-1 Canada
Played: Shinji Kagawa

22/03/2013 21:44, Report by Adam Bostock
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Reds net in England rout

Four Manchester United players started for England - with two of them scoring - as Roy Hodgson's side claimed a comprehensive 8-0 win away to San Marino on Friday night.

Reds winger Ashley Young netted the fourth and the finest of five first-half goals for the visitors, beating goalkeeper Aldo Simoncini with a fantastic 30-yard strike that crashed in off the underside of the crossbar. Wayne Rooney weighed in with number six, early in the second period, with a free-kick curled over the wall.

Rooney was rested after this contribution, replaced by Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge, and Tom Cleverley made way for Everton midfielder Leon Osman.

Chris Smalling, operating as an underemployed centre-back, played on, as did Young who pulled back a delicious ball for Daniel Sturridge to head home England's seventh goal in the 70th minute. Meanwhile Michael Carrick and Danny Welbeck remained on the bench as unused substitutes.

England's other scorers were Tottenham forward Jermain Defoe (2), Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Chelsea veteran Frank Lampard, after an early own goal from Alessandro Della Valle put Hodgson's men on track towards an excellent, if entirely expected, victory in World Cup qualifying Group H.

Robin van Persie scored the second goal and set up the third for substitute Ruben Schaken as Netherlands maintained their 100 per cent record in Group D by beating Estonia 3-0. Ex-Tottenham midfielder Rafael van der Vaart broke the deadlock two minutes after the interval, having come on as a sub for the injured Wesley Sneijder in the first half.

David De Gea was not named among Spain's 18 starters and substitutes for their disappointing 1-1 home draw with Finland in Group I. Barcelona's Victor Valdes was beaten in the 79th minute when Teemu Pukki cancelled out the opener scored half an hour earlier by Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos. Spain's unused sub goalkeeper, picked ahead of De Gea, was Liverpool's Pepe Reina.

Two points dropped by Spain enabled Patrice Evra's France to go top of Group I, although the United left-back remained on the bench throughout Les Bleus' 3-1 home win over Georgia. Manchester City's Gael Clichy started instead of him, while former Reds midfielder Paul Poga was also among those

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