England completed their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with a 100% win record tonight, after a 3-0 victory in Lithuania, courtesy of goals from Ross Barkley, Harry Kane, Alex Oxelade-Chamberlain.
It was a slow start to the game, as England looked to get in their stride – whilst trying to adjust to the artificial pitch the Lithuanian national stadium has.
Kane forged England’s first chance, as he took a few touches before unleashing a venomous low drive, forcing Vytautas Andriuskevicius into a smart save. The three lions failed to capitalise on the corner, with Andriuskevicius catching comfortably.
Andriuskevicius denied Kane once more just a few moments later, as he fired in a shot from the opposite edge of the box to his last effort, but the Lithuanian keeper continued his impressive start to the game.
England huffed and puffed for the first 28 minutes, but couldn’t find a way to break the deadlock. That was the case, until half way through the 28th minute, when Ross Barkley picked the ball up following a pass from Kane, and let rip from 25-yards out. The shot took a fairly large deflection, but that takes nothing away from the sweet strike from Barkley. 1-0 England.
Lithuania weren’t too disheartened from going behind, as Spalvis raced away before unleashing a wonderful long range effort, that Jack Butland had to be equal to.
Soon after their chance to draw level, the home side find themselves 2-0 behind. Kane did a smart one-two with Adam Lallana, before smashing a low shot at the keeper – who did his best to stop it, but the power meant his save still went in. 2-0 England.
That’s how the scores would remain going into half time, with England looking dominant and in complete control – and more importantly, 100% on track to finish the qualifiers with a 100% win record.
Kane had the first chance of the second half, but Andriuskevicius showed his worth the the Lithuanian team once more as he pushed the ball away for a corner.
On 51 minutes Kane had yet another time, this time Oxelade-Chamberlain pulled the ball back to Kane who hit it first time, but the man between the sticks denied him again. From the corner Barkley headed goal wards, but Andriuskevicius saved again.
England made their first sub of the match just short of the 60th minute, as Danny Ings came on in place of goalscorer Kane – who will be disappointed he couldn’t score his second nine minutes prior.
Oxelade-Chamberlain made it three on 62 minutes. The Arsenal midfielder received the ball just inside the Lithuanian box, before he let rip leaving poor Andriuskevicius with no chance. 3-0 England.
Lallana was replaced by Dele Alli five minutes after the goal, coming on to make only his second appearance for the three lions, whilst Andros Townsend came on for Barkley.
The match went pretty flat after the 70th minute mark, as England held on to the ball for large parts without ever really threatening to find a fourth, and so 3-0 was the final score.