Itv England

EI England v Slovenia 151114, 2012-2013Wayne Rooney scored from the spot on his 100th appearance for England.

Credit: PA

Wayne Rooney marked his 100th appearance with a crucial penalty as England came from behind to labour to victory over Slovenia.

Jordan Henderson threatened to gatecrash Rooney's special day at Wembley when he headed into his own goal to give Slovenia the lead in the 57th minute.

But Rooney won and converted a penalty before Danny Welbeck scored a brace to hand Roy Hodgson's men a 3-1 win in their Euro 2016 qualifier.

Eleven years, nine months and three days after a fresh-faced Rooney stepped off the bench to make his international debut against Australia, he became the ninth member of an illustrious club containing greats like Bobby Moore, Billy Wright and Sir Bobby Charlton.

Debate has taken place this week up and down the country as to whether Rooney deserves to be regarded as an England great.

It was telling that Rooney admitted during a frank sit-down with the press at St George's Park on Tuesday that he regards Euro 2004 as the highlight of his international career.

Since he burst on to the scene in Portugal that summer, he has failed to match the achievements of Moore and Charlton by winning a trophy with England.

But while there have been red cards, tantrums and sub-par performances, Rooney's commitment and passion for England - as was revealed in his 2002 poem - has never been questioned.

England needed that passion more than ever on Saturday evening. After a terrible first-half display, it came as no surprise when Slovenia went ahead.

But Rooney quickly took charge of the situation, winning the penalty within two minutes of Slovenia's goal. Thereafter, England improved and Welbeck took his tally to five goals in five games to steer the Three Lions home.

Danny Welbeck scored two second-half goals.

Even before the first whistle, Rooney was sprinting around the Wembley turf chasing his team-mates in the warm-up. He was determined to prove a point.

Once Charlton had awarded him his golden cap, and his sons Kai and Klay had left his side, Rooney set about trying to lead England to victory.

With little over four minutes gone, Rooney gained space in the box to run on to Jack Wilshere's 50-yard pass, but he mis-controlled and Branko Ilic intercepted.

Rooney's was not the only bad touch in a scrappy opening 15 minutes.

The pitch did not help matters, with the surface - which last weekend staged an NFL match - cutting up within a few minutes.

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