MARSEILLE — Wayne Rooney started what might be a new era in his lengthy England career with a deep-lying midfield role against Russia at Euro 2016.
Sitting back in the center of the pitch on Saturday, waiting for time and space to play a decisive pass, Rooney did the job he finished the English season performing at Manchester United in Louis van Gaal’s final months as manager.
One through ball in particular to Dele Alli could easily have resulted in a goal, and Rooney provided a calm, controlling presence in midfield in the 1-1 draw. Only a spectacular save by Russia’s Igor Akinfeev, who deflected a powerful shot onto the bar, prevented him from scoring.
England coach Roy Hodgson defended his decision to take his captain off for Jack Wilshere after Eric Dier’s 73rd-minute goal, rejecting suggestions it paved the way for Russia captain Vasily Berezutsky to head his team’s equalizer in stoppage time.
Hodgson said Rooney had “a good game” but had tired in the humid atmosphere.
“We just thought, with the control we have in the game and Jack Wilshere on the bench, that we could have the luxury of taking Wayne off the field and that Jack would do a similar job, and I think that’s exactly what happened,” Hodgson said.
“We didn’t honestly believe that we were in great difficulties during that period of time and we would see the game out at 1-0.”
With England’s forward trio of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana making little impact, the pressure was on the midfield to shine, with Rooney spraying passes, Alli making incisive runs and Dier scoring from a free kick.
Making his 112th appearance at the age of 30, Rooney was often allowed time on the ball by an ineffective Russian midfield, in which Alexander Golovin and Roman Neustaedter were both making their competitive international debuts.
He may not be so fortunate in England’s next game in Group B, against Wales on June 16.
Chhayanath Rara Municipality bans liquor
RARA— Chhayanath Rara Municipality in Mugu district has been declared liquor-free zone. Declaration of a liquor-free zone was made amid a program on Saturday with a huge presence of locals from all 14 wards.
The municipality and local police administration had conducted a regular publicity campaign in all settlements for two months.
Chief Minister, Mahendra Bahadur Shahi read out a commitment paper by declaring a liquor-free zone to the municipality.
Chairman of Ward No. 5 Dambar Bahadur Rawal of the municipality shared that the municipality council took a decision two months ago to impose a ban on liquor in the municipality with the conclusion that gender-based violence, child marriage, misuse of development and irregularity increased due to liquor.
Mayor Harijung Shahi, lawmaker Gopal Bahadur Bam, representatives of Mugu Chamber of Commerce and Industries, among others were present on the occasion.
During the event, Chief Minister Shahi compared Karnali with heaven.Follow @gorkhapost