England beat Lithuania to end Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with perfect record
England became only the sixth team to end a European qualifying campaign with a 100 per cent record when they beat Lithuania 3-0 in their final Group E match on Monday (Tuesday NZ time).
England, showing eight changes from the team that started Friday’s (Saturday NZ time) 2-0 win over Estonia at Wembley, put themselves into a commanding position after scoring two goals which went in off the same right-hand post inside the opening 35 minutes.
First, after 29 minutes, a powerful long-range strike from Ross Barkley took a deflection off a defender and went in off the post.
Six minutes later another well-struck shot from Harry Kane hit the post and struck the back of keeper Giedrius Arlauskis who conceded an own goal as the ball rebounded into the net.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain blasted England’s third at Arlauskis’s near-post after 62 minutes as they emphatically made it 10 wins out of 10, the only team in this qualifying competition to win all of their matches.
England sealed their place in the Euro 2016 finals last month and never remotely looked like squandering the chance of joining France (1992 and 2004 qualifying), Czech Republic (2000), Germany and Spain (both 2012) as the only countries to have achieved a perfect qualifying record.
The victory, on a chilly night in the Lithuanian capital, meant England finished the campaign with 30 points, followed by Switzerland 21, Slovenia 16, Estonia 10, Lithuania 10 and San Marino one.