England continued their perfect record in their qualifying campaign for Euro 2016 by thrashing Lithuania 4-0 at Wembley. Substitute Harry Kane made the fairytale start to his international career by completing the rout, just eighty seconds after coming on.
Premier League Transfer News
(Video) England 4-0 Lithuania: Harry Kane proves he is the real deal after taking just 80 seconds to get off the mark
(Video) England 3-0 Lithuania: Sterling bags his first international goal to put an end to the Harry Kane debate
Much of the pre-match build up centred around the omission of the Tottenham striker, who, despite being the joint-leading goalscorer in the Premier League this season, was overlooked by Roy Hodgson in favour of Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck, and Raheem Sterling.
And it was the skipper that nearly got England off to a flyer, when he was played through in the opening minutes with a chance eerily similar to one he converted against Tottenham for Manchester United just a couple of weeks ago. This time, however, he was not so lucky, as his effort hit the inside of the post and rolled out of danger.
But the Lithuania goal would not live a charmed life for long, as the former United teammates combined to give England the lead. Danny Welbeck’s shot was parried, but only onto the head of Rooney. He didn’t hesitate and scored his 47th international goal, putting him just two behind Bobby Charlton’s record.
After a blistering start, England had to wait until first-half stoppage time to double the lead. The provider of the first goal, Welbeck got the faintest touch on a cross, which was then deviated past the goalkeeper Giedrius Arlauskis via a heavy deflection.
In the second half, Welbeck had a shout for what would have been a soft penalty turned down. There appeared to be very little contact on the Arsenal forward, and although the ref looked as though he was about to point to the spot, the linesman was having none of it.
But it made little difference, as Raheem Sterling put the game beyond any doubt within minutes of the rejected penalty claim. The Liverpool winger got between the two centre-backs to tap home his first international goal on the hour mark.
With the game in the bag, Hodgson turned to Kane, giving him around twenty minutes to make an impression. He only needed eighty seconds.
A beautifully-weighted cross from Sterling found the Spurs forward at the back post, who powered a header home to get the biggest ovation of the night.