Owen delighted as England ease past Russia

Michael Owen netted twice before halftime, while Rio Ferdinand scored just his second international goal late on to cap an impressive performance by Steve McClaren's team

Owen converted the impressive Gareth Barry's centre for the opening goal after seven minutes and then he volleyed home a flick on from Emile Heskey just past the half hour mark.

Ferdinand added a third in the 84th minute and England's destiny is now back in their own hands after leapfrogging Russia into second spot in the group.

They require just five points from their remaining three games to qualify, providing one of them comes in the return meeting in Moscow next month.

Owen said on BBC1: "It's been a great few days. We've been together 10 days - it's been a long 10 days.

"We got beaten by Germany a few weeks ago but we said these were the two important games and thankfully we produced when it mattered.

"I've scored a couple today and I've enjoyed being part of a great England team."

He added: "It's nice to win over a lot of people. We know we've got quality in the side but over the last few years we haven't shown it often enough.

"We have shown it in the odd game where we've blown people away and in these last two games, we've blown people away in the first 20 minutes, half an hour, and not even had to play to our maximum in our second half.

"It's not often you get an enjoyable game with England, where you can take your foot off the gas, and it was certainly enjoyable today."

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