FT: England 2 Poland 0

England v Poland
England v Poland
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Wayne Rooney headed home in the first half and Steven Gerrard clinched it for England late on in their vital World Cup qualifying match against Poland at Wembley tonight.

A Gerrard free kick just eluded Smalling, selected at right back, as England hunted for an early goal in what was an open game.

Daniel Sturridge sees his shot saved

Daniel Sturridge sees his shot saved

But there was a scare for England when Poland striker Lewandowski shot narrowly wide.

Ukraine went 3-0 up to confirm their position as Group H leaders as the table stood. New star Townsend then hit the bar for England in a frenetic, exciting start.

England were taking the game to Poland, threatening to make the breakthrough.

In the crowd was former Polish keeper Jan Tomaszewski, now aged 65. It was 40 years ago on Thursday that he denied England at Wembley in a World Cup qualifier. The teams drew 1-1 and Poland, not England, advanced to the World Cup finals.

Wayne Rooney heads England ahead

Wayne Rooney heads England ahead

But five minutes from half-time came the vital goal. Baines crossed from the left and ROONEY headed in. It put England on top of the group in their quest to get on the Road to Rio.

Hart was quick to come off his line to deny Lewandowski in the second half as the tension continued.

Rooney hit a curling shot saved by the Polish keeper just before the mid-point in the second half.

England then made a change with Lampard replacing Carrick in midfield in the 70th minute.

A corner from the left by Rooney evaded everyone before Lampard was booked for a challenge in midfield as Poland looked to counter.

Sturridge cut in from the left abd fired in a right-footer that was tipped over.

England made another change with Wilshere replacing Sturridge with 10 minutes to go just after Rooney was yellow carded for a defensive tackle.

Nilner came on for Townsend with five minutes remaining and then GERRARD settled England’s nerves by making in 2-0 in the 87th minute.

The draw takes place on December 6 for the World Cup finals.