Football: Wayne Rooney smashes winning goal for DC United from inside his own half

Ex-Manchester United star Wayne Rooney hammered a 68-yard strike over the head of Orlando goalkeeper Brian Rowe and into the back of the net in the 10th minute.
Ex-Manchester United star Wayne Rooney hammered a 68-yard strike over the head of Orlando goalkeeper Brian Rowe and into the back of the net in the 10th minute.PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Wayne Rooney scored a sensational goal with a blast from his own half for his US football club DC United that triggered a social media storm of applause across the globe on Thursday (June 27).

His "goal of the season" contender lifted his side to a 1-0 victory over Orlando City on Wednesday and saw the veteran former England striker dance an excited little jig.

The ex-Manchester United star hammered a 68-yard strike over the head of Orlando goalkeeper Brian Rowe and into the back of the net in the 10th minute.

"I thought it was nice and it was special to score the goal this evening," he told the DC United website.

Rooney was the most advanced DC United player as his team defended in depth. When the ball was hoofed clear, two City men converged but only deflected it into his path.

Facing the Orlando goal and with the ball bouncing in front of him, Rooney saw Rowe was out of his 18-yard box and smashed a first-time shot.

As the ball swerved and dipped over the despairing goalkeeper, he broke into a brief dance. He spread his arms wide in celebration as the ball curled inside the near post for one of Major League Soccer's goals of the year.

"It's something that I've practised so many times," Rooney said. "Different managers and teammates are, like, why are you practising this, you won't score from this position, but for nights like tonight that's why I do practise it."

The training had paid off in the past. In 2017, Rooney rifled a shot past Joe Hart from his own half for Everton against West Ham. In 2014, Rooney lobbed a goal from just inside the opposition half for the Red Devils, also against West Ham.

The DC United star's goal sparked a tweet-storm of applause across the world and drew attention back in Britain, where Rooney's former United teammate Rio Ferdinand woke up, saw the video and retweeted it along with the comment "Morning Wazza..." and a string of emoticons.

 

Rooney, along with former United players Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Nani, is part of the July MLS All-Star exhibition squad to face Atletico Madrid in Orlando on July 31.