Six-hitters England brush Andorra aside

* England edge closer to World Cup finals

* Capello's men win seventh successive qualifier

* Rooney scores twice to equal Lineker record

By Mike Collett

LONDON, June 10 - England ended a near-perfect season on a high when they demolished a feeble Andorra 6-0 at Wembley on Wednesday to take a huge step towards next year's World Cup finals.

Two goals each from Wayne Rooney and substitute Jermain Defoe and one from Frank Lampard and Peter Crouch gave England their seventh win from seven Group Six qualifying matches.

They only need three points from their remaining three qualifiers to take their place in the finals in South Africa.

Coach Fabio Capello's team provided a treat of attacking football for the 57,897 fans who battled through a tube strike and he thanked them through the stadium announcer for their efforts.

They were not disappointed as England maintained their lead at the top of Group Six, 10 points clear of both Croatia and Ukraine.

Capello gave David Beckham his 112th cap and 100th start in midfield and England took control from the kickoff with Rooney scoring the opening goal in the fourth minute.

He had already forced goalkeeper Koldo Alvraez into making a fingertip save and hit the bar when he headed home a Glen Johnson cross to settle any England nerves.


England kept almost continual possession in the Andorra half with long passages of passing leading to a series of chances.

Theo Walcott attempted a 30-metre shot that went wide and Rooney turned and shot wide before England increased their lead when Johnson and Walcott combined to set up Lampard for a low first-time shot through Alvarez's legs.

Rooney's second followed after 39 minutes with a well taken shot that lifted his tally of competitive international goals this season to 10, equalling the record set by Gary Lineker in 1990-91.

England totally dominated the second period but had to wait until the 73rd minute for Defoe to score with a free header and he added his second fifth two minutes later after Alvarez parried Beckham's free kick.

Crouch made it six with a scrappy goal before Alvarez, winning his 78th and final cap for Andorra, came off a minute from the end.

Capello's first full season in charge of England produced nine wins, one draw and one defeat.