MX23RW : Tuesday, December 11 03:42:14
Oct 8, 2017 at 5pm UK at ​LFF Stadium, Vilnius
LithuaniaLithuania
0-1
England
FT(HT: 0-1)
Kane (27' pen.)

Result: Toothless England scrape past Lithuania

Result: Toothless England scrape past Lithuania
© SilverHub
England end their World Cup qualifying campaign with an unconvincing 1-0 win in Lithuania as Harry Kane scores the only goal of the game.

England have ended their World Cup qualification campaign with an unconvincing 1-0 victory over Lithuania in Vilnius this evening.

The Three Lions needed a first-half penalty from Harry Kane to make it four wins in a row for the first time since October 2015, but it was another dreary display from Gareth Southgate's side and they came away from the match fortunate to have picked up all three points.

Having clinched qualification despite an uninspiring performance in their 1-0 win over Slovenia on Thursday, Southgate made seven changes to his side including debuts for Harry Maguire and Harry Winks and a return from suspension for Dele Alli.

Maguire almost marked his maiden cap with a goal inside five minutes only to be denied a sitter by the faintest of touches from a Lithuanian defender, before Kane had his first sight of goal when he flashed a long-range effort wide of the target.

It was the home side - ranked 120th in the world - who fired the first serious warning shot, however, as a slip from Maguire on the artificial pitch allowed Darvydas Sernas space to flick an effort towards goal which rippled the side-netting on its way behind.

Jack Butland was then called into action with a routine stop following a deflected effort from Ovidijus Verbickas as England were once again slow to get going in the opening quarter of the match.

Southgate's side did soon up the tempo, though, and Michael Keane flashed one shot narrowly wide from the edge of the box before the opening goal arrived from the penalty spot just two minutes later.

Alli was brought down inside the area to leave referee Orel Grinfeld no choice but to point to the spot, and the in-form Kane made no mistake by tucking his finish in off the post from 12 yards for his 15th goal since the start of September.

Marcus Rashford was another of the four players to keep their place in the starting lineup from Thursday, and he almost doubled England's advantage with seven minutes remaining of the first half when he skipped past two defenders before drawing a low stop from the keeper.

Lithuania were not completely out of the game themselves, though, and they came close again in the final stages of the half when Fedor Cernych's snapshot from outside the area had Butland worried as it bobbled past the post.

The home side's hopes of a famous result grew even further in the second half when Sernas latched on to a loose ball deep inside the England half, but he couldn't keep his shot down from just outside the area.

Winks was then denied a debut goal by Ernestas Setkus, but England almost fell behind moments later when Butland needed to pull off a fine fingertip stop to deny Keane from turning the ball into his own net.

Lithuania could have easily been level by that stage as England struggled to turn their possession into chances despite the relatively poor level of opposition, and the home side created another clear chance shortly past the hour mark when Sernas sliced an effort well off target at the end of their best move of the match.

Southgate's side did begin to get a little more joy in the final third during the final 25 minutes, but Alli, Aaron Cresswell, Kane and Sturridge all failed to make the most of chances to double England's lead.

Lithuania almost punished the visitors for their lethargy with another chance just six minutes from time, but Deivydas Matulevicius fired straight at Butland as England survived another scare.

Both Sturridge and Maguire missed opportunities to add a second for England in stoppage time, but it would have flattered the visitors and in the end they were fortunate to come away with the win at all having given up at least as many clear chances as they created against a team ranked below the likes of Lebanon, Rwanda and Bahrain.

The result means that England end the campaign eight points clear of Slovakia, who narrowly beat Scotland to the playoff spot on goal difference, although Southgate will know that significant improvement is still needed ahead of next month's friendlies against Germany and Brazil.

Share this article now:
Jack Wilshere in action during the international friendly between England and Turkey on May 22, 2016
Read Next:
Southgate: 'Door not closed on Wilshere'
>

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool1613303462842
2Manchester CityMan City1613214593641
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs16120430161436
4Chelsea16104233132034
5Arsenal16104235201534
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd167542826226
7Everton166642319424
8Bournemouth167272526-123
9Leicester CityLeicester166462120122
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves166461719-222
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham166372325-221
12Watford166372023-321
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton166371922-321
14Cardiff CityCardiff1642101530-1514
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle163491322-913
16Crystal Palace1633101323-1012
17Burnley1633101532-1712
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1624101027-1710
19Southampton161691330-179
20Fulham1623111640-249

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account