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It came right down to the wire, but at the end of the day, it was two Scouser’s that secured England’s spot in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Former Everton man Wayne Rooney opened the scoring by heading home a inch-perfect Leighton Baines cross four-minutes before half-time and with a nervy ending on the cards, Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard put the match beyond Poland’s reach with a trademark, hard working finish with only two minutes left to play.
After dismantling Montenegro 4-1 on Friday, England needed to better a draw to claim top spot in their group — and automatic qualification for FIFA’s show-piece event next summer. “The tension has been immense, even in the game. At the back of your mind, you are thinking one mistake could put us in the play-offs” said the skipper. Ukraine demolished San Marino today, but they’ll have to settle for a play-off spot after Gerrard and company put English hearts at ease.
“Since I made my debut for England we’ve always been under criticism, but it makes you stronger,” said the midfielder who dedicated the win to the Three Lion’s supporters that stuck by Roy Hodgson’s men. “That win was for the supporters who can now go and book for Brazil.”
According to the BBC, the FA has received 97,000 applications already for tickets — some coming in months before qualification was even taken care of. Although few in the Liverpool camp will be all that interested in what the face-painting, brass band contingent get’s up to, we can all be happy that Gerrard has another shot — no doubt his last — at winning a World Cup.