England blasted Andorra 6-0

Jermain Defoe (left) scored twice as England blasted Andorra 6-0 Wednesday to move within a victory of the World Cup.

WEMBLEY, England (AP)—With David Beckham back in the starting lineup, England moved within a victory of World Cup berth by routing Andorra 6-0 Wednesday night.

Wayne Rooney and Jermain Defoe scored two goals apiece, and Frank Lampard and Peter Crouch each had one. Rooney finished the international season with 10 goals, the most for England since Gary Lineker in 1990-91.

Beckham made his 112th international appearance, starting in central midfield in place of Gareth Barry, who was suspended, and Michael Carrick, who is injured. The 34-year-old Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder, 13 appearances shy of the English record set by goalkeeper Peter Shilton, hadn’t started a competitive international match since a European Championship qualifier against Estonia in June 2007.

“Being in the center of midfield gave me more time on the ball and definitely more touch with the ball,” Beckham said. “I enjoyed the role.”

Beckham spent the last five months on loan to AC Milan and is to rejoin the Galaxy for its July 16 match at the New York Red Bulls. He hopes to return to AC Milan in January.

“Beckham was chosen because he is still one of the best players,” England manager Fabio Capello said.

While Beckham has 17 goals since his national team debut in 1996, he has never scored at Wembley. Fans shouted “shoot, shoot” in the closing moments

“It’s obviously missing, but I don’t care,” Beckham said. “At the end of the day, I’m happy with being in this team. I’m happy with performing in this team and playing with these players because it’s a great team and a great squad to be around at the moment. Whether I score or not at Wembley, we’ll see. As long as we carry on winning, I don’t care.”

England (7-0) leads Europe Group Six with 21 points and can clinch its fourth straight World Cup appearance with a victory over Croatia (3-1-2) at Wembley on Sept. 9.

“There is always going to be high expectation because of the players we’ve got,” said Beckham, the team’s former captain. “We’ve got to be careful. We’ve won seven games. We’ve put in seven good performances, but we’re not a team that gets carried away and we’re not a squad that gets carried away. We can’t afford to.”

Attendance was 57,897, the lowest for England at Wembley since the rebuilt stadium opened in 2007. The crowd was held down due to a strike by subway workers.

Rooney scored in the fourth and 39th minutes, around a 29th-minute goal by Lampard.

Beckham, who had a low free kick saved just before halftime, initiated the fourth goal with a corner kick to Glen Johnson, whose cross was headed in by Defoe in the 73rd.

Defoe scored again two minutes later after Beckham’s free kick was parried by goalkeeper Koldo Alvarez, and Crouch got the final goal in the 80th.

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