Townsend's run set up Wayne Rooney's opener and, after Dejan Damjanovic had cancelled out a bizarre Branko Boskovic own goal, he scored a stunning third before Daniel Sturridge added extra gloss from the spot.
"Well, we agonised over it I must say," boss Hodgson told ITV1 of Townsend's selection. "We had plenty of discussions and argued things back and forth because on this occasion we did have so many players we could choose from.
"To leave people like Jack [Wilshere] and James Milner out of an important game like this with their talent and experience was not an easy decision.
"But, of course, we're glad it worked out well for us. I thought Andros, who got the man-of-the-match award, must be delighted with his evening's work.
"Sometimes you are lucky in those things - you envisage something and it comes off, but it doesn't always work out that way."
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