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England 2, Poland 0

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England survived a night of tension to qualify for the World Cup after Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard secured a 2-0 win over Poland at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday. 

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England's striker Wayne Rooney heads the ball to score the opening goal during the World Cup 2014 Group H qualifying football match between England and Poland at Wembley Stadium in north London. AFP

Rooney, Gerrard send England to Brazil

England survived a night of tension to qualify for the World Cup after Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard secured a 2-0 win over Poland at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday.

Needing victory to conserve top spot in European qualifying Group H, England met their objective thanks to a 41st-minute header from Rooney and a late strike from the captain, Gerrard.

It was an evening of cloying intensity for Roy Hodgson's side, however, as Poland, backed by around 18,000 raucous fans, threatened to pull off a repeat of their 1-1 draw in London 40 years ago that had denied England a place at the 1974 World Cup.

"I'm greatly satisfied," said Hodgson.

"It was a tough group – both Montenegro and Poland showed themselves to be great opponents, both home and away.

"I'm not being emotional, but emotions are churning around inside me. I died 1,000 deaths every time they crossed the half-way line, which is what you do."

"We played some sensational football in the first half and we dug in very well and controlled them in the second.

"We've been working together for 18 months and the way we play has changed. We're getting better all the time and hopefully will get better still. The players really are a group and they trust each other."

England finished the campaign unbeaten, a point clear at the top of the group above Ukraine, whose 8-0 win away to San Marino was to prove in vain, with Poland nine points off the pace in fourth place.

Hodgson made two changes to the team that had beaten Montenegro 4-1 on Friday, with Chris Smalling replacing the suspended Kyle Walker at right-back and Michael Carrick preferred to Frank Lampard in midfield.

With smoke from Polish fans' flares drifting across the pitch at kick-off and chants of 'Polska!' filling the air, the visitors could have been forgiven for thinking that they were the home side.

Polish fans hold aloft flares before the World Cup 2014 Group H qualifying football match in Wembly Stadium. AFP

Indeed, England initially seemed cowed by the occasion and their failure to manage a succession of Polish counter-attacks saw first Waldemar Sobota and then Robert Lewandowski spurn good chances to put the Poles ahead.

The hosts had already threatened through Andros Townsend and Chris Smalling by then, however, and as the first period wore on, Poland struggled to get out of their own half.

After Phil Jagielka headed wide from a Gerrard corner, Townsend bent a 25-yard shot against the crossbar, with Szczesny parrying Daniel Sturridge's powerful follow-up.

Danny Welbeck scuffed wide from a Leighton Baines corner and was then thwarted by Szczesny, who also saved from Rooney before the breakthrough arrived four minutes prior to the interval.

Baines was given time to shape a cross into the box from the England left and Rooney met the Everton left-back's inviting centre with an unerring header into the bottom-right corner.

It was the Manchester United striker' s seventh goal in his last six qualifying games..

Poland substitute Mateusz Klich gave England a couple of early scares in the second half. Defensive inattention on the hour allowed Lewandowski to ghost in behind the England back four, but Hart rushed out alertly to block.

With Ukraine handsomely ahead in their match, a single goal for Poland would have been enough to condemn England to the play-offs.

England's Steven Gerrard runs to celebrate after scoring the second goal. AFP

But after Szczesny thwarted Rooney and Sturridge, Gerrard latched onto a pass from substitute Jack Wilshere and poked the ball over Szczesny to seal the all-important win. AFP

Learn from listening

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Vocabulary:

alert: able to think quickly; quick to notice things - ตื่นตัว, ตั้งท่า, เตรียมพร้อม

aloft: in the air - เบื้องบน

backed: supported - ให้การสนับสนุน

bent: caused something to curve - โค้ง

block: to stop someone/ something from moving through or along something else - ปิดกั้น, กีดขวาง

breakthrough: an achievement that comes after a lot of hard work - เหตุการณ์หรือการกระทำที่ทำให้อุปสรรคหมดไป; การบุกเข้าไปในแนวเขตของคู่ต่อสู้

campaign: a series of matches in a tournament or season -

celebrate: to do something enjoyable in order to show that an occasion or event is special - ฉลอง

chanting: shouting or singing a word or phrase again and again - ร้องเพลง โห่ร้อง

churn: to move water, mud, etc. around violently - หมุนวนอย่างแรง

cloying: making you feel sick or annoyed by being too sweet or too pleasant -

condemn: to force somebody to accept a difficult or unpleasant situation - ทำให้ตกอยู่ในสภาพ

conserve: to keep and protect something from damage, change or waste - สงวน,เก็บรักษา

counter-attack: an attack made in response to the attack of an enemy or opponent in war, sport or an argument - การโต้ตอบ

cowed: made to feel afraid and that you are not as good as somebody else - ตกใจ, กลัว

crossbar: a horizontal bar that forms the top of a goal - คานประตู

defensive: focusing on defending rather than attacking - เน้นการป้องกัน

deny: to cause to be unsuccessful; to not allow someone do something - ทำให้ไม่สำเร็จ, ไม่ยอม

draw: a game that ends with both teams or players having the same number of points - เสมอกัน

drift: to move slowly, often as a result of outside forces, with no control over direction - ล่องลอย,เลื่อนลอย

emotional: related to strong feeling such as anger or love, or strong feelings in general - มีอารมณ์

flare: a bright flame that burns for a short time - การลุกไหม้อย่างรวดเร็วและสว่างไสว

ghost: to sneak in unnoticed - หลบเข้าไปเงียบๆ, ทำลับๆ ล่อๆ

host: a country, city, group, person, etc. which provides the space and other things necessary for a special event - เจ้าภาพ

in vain: without success - ไม่สำเร็จ

inattention: a failure to pay attention - การปล่อยปละละเลย, การขาดความเอาใจใส่

indeed: used to emphasize a positive statement or answer - อย่างแท้จริง, โดยแท้จริงแล้ว

initially: at first - ในระยะต้น 

intensity: strength - ความเข้มข้น

interval: a short break between the parts of something such as a play or a concert or, this case, between halves of a football match - ช่วงหยุดพัก

inviting: attractive and making you want to experience or use it - ซึ่งดึงดูดใจ, น่าเชิญชวน

latch on to: to become connected to something; to take control of a ball that is passed to you -

manage: to succeed in doing something - สำเร็จ,จัดการได้สำเร็จ, ทำได้สำเร็จ

objective: what you plan to achieve; goal; aim; purpose - เป้าหมาย

occasion: a special event, ceremony or celebration - โอกาส, งาน

opponent: a person or team being competed against in a sports event - คู่ต่อสู้

parry: to defend yourself against somebody who is attacking you by pushing their arm, weapon, etc. to one side - ปัดป้อง

pitch: an area painted with lines for playing particular sports, especially football - สนามฟุตบอล

poke: to quickly push your fingers, toes or another object into somebody/something - แหย่ (นิ้ว, ไม้ ฯลฯ)

prove to be: to be shown to be - ปรากฏว่า, แสดงว่า

raucous: very noisy, excited or out of control - เสียงอึกทึกกึกก้อง

replace: to put a new person or thing in the place of someone or something - แทน

satisfied: pleased because you have achieved something or because something that you wanted to happen has happened - พอใจ ถูกใจ

scare: a situation that makes people suddenly feel worried or frightened about something - ความหวาดกลัว, ความตื่นตระหนก

scuff: to scrape; to make a mark on the smooth surface of something when you rub it against something rough; to drag your feet along the ground, preventing you from moving, hitting, or kicking smoothly - ครูด

secure: to get or achieve something - ได้มา

sensational: causing great surprise, excitement, or interest - น่าดึงดูดใจ, น่าเร้าใจ, น่าตื่นเต้น

spurn: to refuse to accept something, do something, or deal with something; to fail to take advantage of something - ปฏิเสธ

strike: an act of hitting or kicking something/somebody - การตี, การเตะ

striker: a football player whose job is to stay near the opponent’s goal and to score goals - ศูนย์หน้าตัวเป้า

struggle: to try hard to do something that you find very difficult - พยายาม; ต่อสู้

substitute: a player who replaces another member of his or her team during a match - ตัวสำรอง

succession: a series of things of the same type - การต่อเนื่องกัน

survive: to manage to deal with something difficult or unpleasant - รอดไปได้

suspended: not allowed to participate for a period of time -

tension: the feeling of being so nervous or worried that you can’t relax - ความตึงเครียด

threaten: to put at risk; to put in danger - ทำให้ตกอยู่ในความเสี่ยง

threatened: at risk; in danger - ตกอยู่ในความเสี่ยง

thwart: to prevent someone from doing something that they want to do - สกัดกั้น   ป้องกัน

tough: difficult to do or to deal with - ยาก ยากลำบาก

trust: to believe someone is honest, fair, and reliable - เชื่อใจ, ไว้วางใจ

unbeaten: not having lost in a single competition - ไม่เคยแพ้

unerring: always right or accurate - ไม่ผิดพลาด, ไม่คลาดเคลื่อน, แม่นยำ

victory: winning a competition or a battle - ชัยชนะ

wear on: (of time) to pass, especially in a way that seems slow - เวลา) ค่อยผ่านไป

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