European Championship Qualifying

September 2, 2011

Full-time

Bulgaria

0 - 3

England

Group G

18:15 +00:00, September 2, 2011

Vassil Levski Stadion

Referee: Frank De Bleeckere

  • 90'

    FT England now have 14 points from six games in Group G and remain unbeaten. If Wales hold on to beat Montenegro Capello's men will be three points clear with two to play. When you consider their vastly superior goal difference, a win against Wales on Tuesday would effectively seal their qualification for the Euro 2012 Finals. On that note, I bid you good night!

  • 90'

    FT Highly professional performance from Capello's England, led by the red-hot Rooney who's now scored seven in his last four games.

  • 90'

    And there's the full-time whistle, England running out comfortable 3-0 winners through goals from Cahill and Rooney (2).

  • 90'

    Milner bursts down the right and finds Rooney at the back post. He brings the ball down, but can't get a shot past his man.

  • 90'

    They'll be two added minutes in Sofia.

  • 89'

    Tackles flying in full Bulgaria now. Terry chopped down by Georgiev. Meanwhile, reports of a missile being thrown from the stands are coming in.

  • 88'

    Milner fizzes over a cross from the right, but a stretching Rooney can't quite get a boot on it.

  • 87'

    Cole barged over by Milanov, who needs to be careful he doesn't get send off here.

  • 86'

    Rooney is still scurrying around desperately trying to make his hat-trick happen.

  • 84'

    Milanov goes in the book for a foul on Johnson from behind.

  • 83'

    England make their third and final change. Adam Johnson replaces Walcott.

  • 82'

    Capello finally cracks a smile watching on.

  • 81'

    Downing's free-kick from the right is too strong. Straight out for a goal-kick.

  • 80'

    Marquinhos replaces Popov for Bulgaria.

  • 79'

    Here comes Lampard. The Chelsea man replaces Manchester City's Barry in England's midfield.

  • 78'

    Lovely back-heel from Rooney there. He's in quite irresistable form.

  • 76'

    Bulgaria had a spell in the first half, but they've shown very little in the second. Meanwhile, Lampard appears to be preparing himself in the dugout.

  • 74'

    Rooney does brilliantly to play in Walcott, who goes clean on goal but shoots wide with just Mihailov to beat.

  • 73'

    Zanev has just enough pace to stop Walcott burning him up, but he has to concede a corner.

  • 72'

    Popov with a tired long-range effort that doesn't ask anything of Hart.

  • 71'

    Cole slides in Downing, but as he breaks through on goal the offside flag goes up.

  • 70'

    Downing's free-kick from the right is headed away from a throw-in. England win another when Bozhilov fouls, but again it comes to nothing.

  • 68'

    Reports coming in of some potentially racist chanting in Sofia. See our Matchday Live blog for more.

  • 66'

    Rooney with a firm header from Barry's cross, but Mihailov gathers with ease above his head.

  • 65'

    England passing the ball around confidently now. There are surely more goals in this if they go after Bulgaria.

  • 64'

    Cole tries to send Downing away ahead of him on the left. His first-time ball asks too much of the Liverpool winger.

  • 63'

    Popov caught offside.

  • 61'

    Bozhilov on for Bulgaria, Genkov off. Milner replaces Young for England.

  • 60'

    Walcott causing havoc in the Bulgaria box, but he can't quite get the ball out of his feet to shoot.

  • 59'

    It's James Milner getting ready to come on though. He's stripped and ready on the sidelines.

  • 58'

    You wouldn't be surprised to see Jermain Defoe sometime soon for England. That said, Rooney certainly won't want to be rested on a hat-trick.

  • 57'

    Replays show Parker's angled shot was headed for the top corner.

  • 56'

    Parker draws a save from Mihailov with a rasping drive.

  • 55'

    Almost a fourth for England! Walcott with a superbly floated cross from the right that Downing heads back across goal...HITS THE POST!

  • 54'

    Milanov and Stiliyan Petrov combine on the right to win Bulgaria a corner. Hart with a sharp stop at the near post.

  • 53'

    Chance for Young to shoot on the left, but he chooses instead to pull a ball back across goal. Bulgaria clear.

  • 52'

    Taken short to Young, who wins another one 10 yards further forward - on the left corner of the Bulgaria box.

  • 51'

    England win a free-kick midway inside the Bulgaria half...

  • 50'

    Ivanov with a powerful header from just inside the box. Just over.

  • 48'

    Stiliyan Petrov goes at Cole, but there's no way past him.

  • 47'

    Milanov's cross from the right is comfortably cleared by England.

  • 46'

    And away we go with the second half.

  • 45'

    Sarmov replaces Bandalovski for Bulgaria.

  • 45'

    HT England have been clinical in front of goal tonight. Cahill and Rooney (2) making for what will surely be a breeze of a second half. Bulgaria have threatened in patches, but ultimately been woeful at the back.

  • 45'


    Gary Cahill puts England ahead in Sofia.

  • 45'

    And there's the half-time whistle. Capello's England go into the break leading 3-0 and cruising.

  • 45'

    GOAL Lovely team move from England, with Walcott breaking to feed Young, whose ball across the goal gave Rooney the simpliest of finishes for his second of the night. 3-0!

  • 45'

    They'll be one additional minute in Sofia.

  • 44'

    Walcott flagged offside as England finally put a few passes together in the final third.

  • 43'

    Rooney chopped down inside the centre circle. England take a quick free-kick but give the ball away cheaply.

  • 42'

    England have lost their way a little in the last 10 minutes. They're struggling to hold onto the ball.

  • 41'

    Bulgaria are enjoying some good possession and territory now. Just the final ball lacking.

  • 40'

    Martin Petrov with a chance to cross on the left, but his ball is easily cut out.

  • 38'

    Smalling gets caught out with a cross from the left. Fortunately for the full-back Martin Petrov wastes the opportunity to bring the ball down and take aim at England's goal.

  • 37'

    Martin Petrov tries his luck from distance with a low skidding shot. Hart claims comfortably.

  • 36'

    Zanev makes progress on the left, but there's no way past Smalling.

  • 35'

    Parker with an aggressive challenge inside the Bulgaria half. He goes to ground, and he goes in the book.

  • 34'

    England break with Rooney. The ball eventually finds its way to Barry, whose shot is a weak one.

  • 33'

    Georgiev gets a cross in despite the attentions of Smalling and it's left to Cole to once again clear.

  • 32'

    Good spell of pressure from Bulgaria. Cole finally clears with a good tackle on Bandalovski.

  • 30'

    Rooney's attempt to slide in Walcott is cut out.

  • 29'

    Hart is caught in no-mans land by a cross from the right, but Smalling does well to calmly head behind for a corner.

  • 28'

    Popov tries to get on the end of a hopeful ball forward, only for Terry to head powerfully clear.

  • 27'

    Almost a great counter-attack goal for England. Rooney couldn't quite find a way past the last man.

  • 26'

    Zanev tries to cross from the left, but Smalling puts his body in the way and England break.

  • 25'

    Bandalovski's cross from the right is met by Stiliyan Petrov, but his header doesn't trouble Hart.

  • 23'

    If Fabio Capello's excited he's not showing it. England could be losing 4-0 by the expression on the Italian's face.

  • 21'

    GOAL Downing's corner from the right is headed powerfully home by Rooney! He left his run late and met the ball sweetly on the edge of the six-yard box. 2-0!

  • 20'

    Rooney drops deep to link play. England building slowly here.

  • 19'

    Martin Petrov fizzes a shot across goal from the left, just inside the box. Hart dives, but it's well wide.

  • 18'

    The home fans must have read my last comment. They've suddenly found their voice.

  • 17'

    Barry again tries to pick a pass through the Bulgaria defence. This time to no avail.

  • 16'

    It's all gone rather flat in Sofia as you might expect. Pockets of England fans making the only noise.

  • 15'

    Rooney finds Cole making a run on the left, but the Chelsea full-back can't quite hook the ball back across goal.

  • 14'

    Fine finish from Bolton defender Cahill, who did a decent impression of a seasoned striker there.

  • 13'

    GOAL ENGLAND LEAD! Barry plays in Cahill, who controls with his chest and squeezes a shot under Mihailov from eight yards to put England ahead.

  • 12'

    Downing gets a ball into Young from the left. It's worked back to Cole, whose shot is deflected over the bar.

  • 11'

    Hart put under pressure and he slices a wild clearance out for a throw-in.

  • 10'

    Fine cross from Smalling on the right...Bulgaria scramble clear.

  • 9'

    First real touch for Rooney, who controls neatly. His pass to Downing is intercepted though.

  • 8'

    Barry chips a ball forward for Downing on the left, but the Liverpool man is ruled offside.

  • 7'

    Smalling with a neat cushioned header back to Hart in the England goal.

  • 6'

    Parker with a foul on Georgiev in the centre circle. The new Spurs signing looks hungry out there.

  • 5'

    Parker looks to release Young with a raking pass forward, but not even Young can catch that one.

  • 4'

    Smalling with an early chance to release Walcott ahead of him, but his pass is too strong.

  • 3'

    England fans in fine voice in Sofia. Rule Britannia blasting out from the brass band.

  • 2'

    Purposeful start from the home side. Zanev whips over a cross from the left, but England clear.

  • 1'

    And we're away in Sofia, with England wearing their rather fetching new blue away kit. Bulgaria in white shirts, green shorts.

  •  

    It's going to be Young supporting Manchester United team-mate Rooney in attack for England, with Downing and Walcott on the flanks.

  •  

    England starting XI as expected: Hart, Smalling, Cahill, Terry, Cole, Walcott, Parker, Barry, Downing, Young, Rooney

  •  

    Bulgaria starting XI: Mihailov, Zanev, Bodurov, Milanov, Bandalovski, Ivanov, Georgiev, Martin Petrov, Stiliyan Petrov, Popov, Genkov

  •  

    That means that Frank Lampard has been left out and it's the first time that he has been dropped when available to play for his country.

  •  

    Some early team news suggests England will line up like this: Hart, Smalling, Cahill, Terry, Cole; Walcott, Parker, Barry, Downing; Young, Rooney.

  •  

    Robin Hackett has the match preview for you to read.

  •  


    Chris Smalling has impressed at Man Utd and should play for England

  •  

    Join us at 1915 BST to see if England can overcome Bulgaria on their home turf.