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Wayne nets the winner

London: England manager Roy Hodgson mounted an impassioned defence of his team after they laboured to a 1-0 victory over Norway in their first game since the World Cup.

Wayne Rooney marked his first match as captain with a decisive 68th-minute penalty, but it was one of only two shots on target that England mustered during a low-key friendly on Wednesday.

Only 40,181 fans — less than half Wembley’s capacity — turned up to watch England produce an uninspired display four days before their first Euro 2016 qualifier away to Switzerland.

Meanwhile, Alejandro Bedoya scored in the 39th minute, and a youthful US team started the four-year cycle of preparation for the 2018 Cup with a 1-0 win over the Czech Republic in Prague.