15/10/2013 22:01, Report by Adam Marshall
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Rooney aids England

Wayne Rooney scored the all-important opener as England defeated Poland 2-0 at Wembley to clinch a place in next year's World Cup finals.

Steven Gerrard added a late second to ease the nerves as Roy Hodgson's team went through the qualification group unbeaten but there were some tense moments in front of a noisy crowd. Chris Smalling, one of four United starters, was unable to reach a Gerrard free-kick and he and Danny Welbeck were involved in the build-up that led to Andros Townsend hitting the bar.

Welbeck prodded wide of an inviting target and Rooney forced a save out of Wojciech Szczesny before a precious goal duly arrived four minutes before the break. Michael Carrick fed Leighton Baines on the left and, although his fine cross was over Welbeck, Rooney guided a perfect headed finish into the corner of the net.

Robert Lewandowski had chances for Poland but only a spectacular save by Szczesny denied man-of-the-match Rooney a second. 

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Reds on duty

ENGLAND v Poland - Michael Carrick, Phil Jones, Wayne Rooney, Chris Smalling, Danny Welbeck

FRANCE v Finland - Patrice Evra

Turkey v NETHERLANDS - Robin van Persie

PORTUGAL v Luxembourg - Nani


Premier League