European Championship Qualifying

September 2, 2011



0 - 3


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.