Rooney spares England as Norway pay the penalty

Daniel Sturridge and Norway's Vegard Forren (left) battle for the ball. PIC: PA
Daniel Sturridge and Norway's Vegard Forren (left) battle for the ball. PIC: PA
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Wayne Rooney marked his first match as England captain with the winning goal last night, but those that made journey to Wembley were given little to cheer about against Norway.

Wednesday’s friendly was the first for Roy Hodgson and his England side since their embarrassing World Cup exit and one which did little to re-engage the public.

Just 40,181 bothered coming to what was billed as the start of a new era – one which began with a whimper as Rooney’s second-half penalty secured a 1-0 win against the Scandinavians.

The first half was a particularly dire affair as, aside from fleeting moments of class from Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge, there was very little to encourage England fans, who were frustrated further when Jack Wilshere saw a penalty appeal waved away.

Only an excellent one-handed save from Joe Hart prevented Norway, ranked 53rd in the world, taking a shock lead through Joshua King’s header, before man-of-the-match Sterling earned what proved to be a decisive penalty.

Rooney fired the ball home with England’s first shot on target.

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