When England’s top goalscorer Wayne Rooney announced he will be making a final appearance for the Three Lions, inducing mixed opinions by the Football Association’s decision to give the icon a sentimental final run-out for his 120th cap from different quarters, there appeared no doubt in the minds of the Wembley crowd that this was a worthwhile exercise.
When the former England captain appeared before kick-off with his four children through a guard of honour formed by both teams to receive a presentation from FA chairman Greg Clarke and Harry Kane, it was the start of a genuine show of affection.
And Rooney beamed in appreciation as he warmed up near the touchline when Liverpool youngster Alexander-Arnold, also a Merseysider, scored his first England goal.
The DC United striker was given a standing ovation when the big moment arrived, coming on for Lingard for that final 33-minute appearance.
Rooney, who has excelled in Major League Soccer, looked trim and fit as the crowd cheered his every move, willing him to produce one more special England moment.
The former Everton forward almost delivered the dream finale in stoppage time when only the outstretched right arm of Guzan stopped him from adding a 54th goal to his all-time England record. And, agonisingly, he was just unable to stretch enough to meet a cross six yards out seconds later.
Rooney took the acclaim of the crowd at the final whistle as the curtain came down on his England career.