England win again in Belarus

England made it four wins out of four with a 3-1 triumph away to Belarus in Minsk.

England made it four wins out of four with a 3-1 triumph away to Belarus in Minsk.

After an unconvincing first half England came in at the break all square at 1-1.

Steven Gerrard gave England an early lead with a fantastic 25 yard strike but credit to Belarus for getting back into the game and deservedly drawing level on 28 minutes.

A brilliant move ended with the unmarked Sitko heading powerfully home.

If England lost their way slightly they more than made up for this in the second half when Wayne Rooney scored a brace and produced an impressive performance.

The Manchester United striker combined with Emile Heskey to regain the lead for England early after the break.

Rooney made the game safe and scored his seventh goal in five games with a wonderful piece of individual skill as he chipped Zhevnov.

There was even time for Gerrard to miss an open goal as he prodded the ball against a post.

For the Three Lions this result means they have made their best start to a qualifying campaign since 1971.

England coach Fabio Cappello felt it was a good team performance despite Rooney's two goals.

He told BBC Radio Five Live, "It was a very important result in what wasn't an easy game. In the first half Belarus played very well but in the second half we played better and the result is fantastic.

Cappello admitted his tactical change made the difference in the second half.

"The position of Gerrard was all over in the first half but in the second half I fixed the position on the pitch for every player.

As for Rooney: "He is a very important player for us and while he scored the goals all the team played well. They did everything I asked."

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