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Euro 2016 qualifiers: Walcott inspires England to victory over Estonia

| 10.10.2015

England recorded a relatively straightforward, if unspectacular victory over minnows Estonia, with positive at least, that they kept their 100 per cent record alive in qualifying.

While the Three Lions dominated possession, as expected at Wembley, the first half seemed to miss that all too familiar killer instinct. A medley of chances culminated in finding players in the right positions, though an extra pass too often culminated in an opportunity missed.

With Adam Lallana and Ross Barkley appearing to find space in between Estonian lines easily, it was their decision making with ball at their feet that cost them at times.

That was until the stroke of half time when the latter got it right. Receiving the ball once more to feet, he looked up to see Theo Walcott make a run and beat the offside trap as a beautifully weighted pass came through to him as he slotted passed the keeper.

Soccer - UEFA Euro 2016 - Qualifying - Group E - England v Estonia - Wembley Stadium

More energy and incisiveness appeared to be the nature of Roy Hodgson’s team talk, and this seemed to show in the second half as England stepped it up a gear.

Harry Kane was unlucky to volley an effort against his standing foot as a cross was whipped into him, before being foiled minutes later, following great work from James Milner and Lallana.

The visitors seemed content to sit and attempt to play on the counter-attack and while never threatening, apart from the odd, ambitious wayward shot, they were definitely making it hard for the hosts.

Barkley came agonisingly close midway through the half, after great work when he jinked into the area, only to see his effort palmed away by the keeper.

As the clocked ticked down, Hodgson rolled the dice and on came Leicester’s Jamie Vardy. Latching onto a flick on he raced clear to cross for Raheem Sterling, who had been otherwise frustrating so far, as the Manchester City attacker made it 2-0 and nine wins in a row for the Three Lions.



Matt Haynes

A long-suffering Leeds fan, Matt studied Sports Journalism at university, and has a plethora of multi-industry experience. Having worked on behalf of multiple hedge funds and top-tier investment banks in executive search, he has also had a stint with the BBC and the Press Association. Outside of work, he pursues entrepreneurial activities and likes to keep fit.
Although he has interviewed current England manager Roy Hodgson as well as Rafa Benitez and a number of other names, he is honoured to have spent time in the company of Gordon Banks. Matt enjoys cultivating long-lasting professional and personal relationships, is solution orientated, and supports Coral’s sports content provision.