Wayne Rooney became the youngest goal-scorer in European Championship history yesterday, scoring twice in a 3-0 victory over Switzerland that helped England recover from its jolting opening loss.
The 18-year-old striker headed in a cross from Michael Owen in the 23rd minute after England was outplayed early on. He added a second goal with 15 minutes left. The ball struck the post so hard that it hit goalkeeper Joerg Stiel in the back before going into the net.
"Two beautiful goals, both of them," England Coach Sven-Goran Eriksson said. "Fantastic."
Steven Gerrard completed the scoring in the 82nd minute in a game played in 86-degree heat in Portugal.
In the day's other Group B game, France tied Croatia, 2-2. The tie left France first in the group with four points followed by England (three), Croatia (two) and Switzerland (one).
The performance by England was critical after a 2-1 defeat to France on Sunday in which both French goals came during second-half injury time. England needed to win to contend for a spot in the quarterfinals.
Rooney is almost a year younger than the previous record-holder -- Dragan Stojkovic of Yugoslavia in 1984.
Switzerland almost evened the score in the final minute of the first half when Hakan Yakin curled a 19-yard free kick just wide of the far post. The Swiss were reduced to 10 men when Bernd Haas was ejected in the 60th minute for his second yellow card.
In the France-Croatia game, David Trezeguet took advantage of an error by Croatia goalkeeper Tomislav Butina and scored in the 64th minute. Trezeguet scored when Butina charged to the edge of the box, but his clearance struck the French forward, who scored into an empty net.
France led 1-0 at halftime before the Croats scored twice in four minutes early in the second half to lead, 2-1. Croatia's Milan Rapaic scored on a penalty kick in the 48th minute. Then Dado Prso beat Mikael Silvestre in the penalty area, shifted the ball to his left foot and shot around Marcel Desailly.
-- From News Services