Jermain Defoe scored a hat trick as England opened European Championship qualifying on Friday by coasting to a 4-0 victory over Bulgaria in a display of attacking efficiency missing during a woeful World Cup campaign.
Defoe's first goal into an unguarded net came just three minutes into England's first competitive match since being eliminated by Germany in the second round in South Africa.
The Tottenham striker, who was initially ruled out of the match with a groin injury, added another in the 61st when he slipped the ball between Bulgaria goalkeeper Nikolay Mihaylov's legs. And Defoe curled in the third in the 86th, two minutes after substitute Adam Johnson marked his first competitive England appearance with a goal.
Portugal held to 4-4 draw by Cyprus
Guimaraes, Portugal: Portugal made a disastrous start to its 2012 Euro qualifying campaign as it was held to a 4-4 draw at home by Cyprus.
Benzema out of Belarus game
Paris: Striker Karim Benzema has been ruled out of France's 2012 European Championship qualifier against Belarus after failing to recover from an ankle injury.
The French federation said before Friday's game at the Stade de France that the Real Madrid forward had been ruled out after undergoing a fitness test.