England 4 Lithuania 0
Harry Kane took just 80 seconds to make his mark on international football as he enjoyed a fairytale debut in England’s 4-0 win over Lithuania at Wembley.
Kane entered the pitch in the 71st minute and nodded the ball in less than two minutes later to round off a simple victory in the Euro 2016 qualifier.
Wayne Rooney moved to within two goals of Bobby Charlton’s England scoring record with an early opener. He would have moved level with the England great inside 19 minutes had he not twice rattled the woodwork.
But once Rooney made way for Kane, the script was written for the Tottenham striker to score on his debut and he did not disappoint.
Man of the match Danny Welbeck and Raheem Sterling had given England a comfortable cushion against dire opposition and then Kane pounced with just his third touch to put the icing on the cake.
Four years ago Kane was playing in front of 4,581 supporters while on loan for Leyton Orient against Dagenham & Redbridge. Last night, 83,671 witnessed the first of what they hope will be many an England goal for Kane.
England remain six points clear at the top of Group E and they have now won seven straight matches for the first time since 2006.
Rooney was the man who took centre stage and he sensed Charlton’s record was there for the taking. Fabian Delph clipped the ball over the Lithuania defence and the skipper raced through in the fourth minute.
The goalkeeper dived early, giving Rooney a big gap to aim at, but in his quest for perfection, he went right for the bottom corner and the ball struck the post and bounced to safety.
Three minutes later, all was forgiven as Rooney put England ahead. Welbeck strode into the box and fired at goal after nutmegging his marker. The goalkeeper palmed the ball up in the air and the predator pounced, nodding in from five yards.
Hodgson rose to his feet and applauded.
The early goal breathed confidence into Rooney’s lungs, which where working over-time. The skipper was tearing around the pitch hunting down the ball at every opportunity and he almost scored again in the 19th minute.
Welbeck again beat his marker down the right and lofted a cross to Rooney, who planted a header past Giedrius Arlauskis but it smacked the bar and Jordan Henderson’s attempted follow up was deflected over.
Rooney cursed his luck. He knew he could have equalled Charlton’s tally inside 20 minutes.
England continued to dominate after the restart. Arlauskis pulled off a good save to deny Fabian Delph and Welbeck also had a shot saved by the Lithuania stopper.
The Arsenal forward was left chuckling to himself moments later when he was clipped by Kijanskas and the referee did not award a penalty.
A Rooney penalty would have moved the striker level with Gary Lineker, but he did not complain too much and one minute later he provided the cross that led to England’s third.
The Manchester United captain drifted right and whipped in a low ball which Sterling knocked in for his first England goal.
The crowd roared when they saw Kane was being readied to come on.
The fans became impatient as play continued for four minutes. When he did come on, he made the best impression possible. The tall forward peeled away from his marker at the far post and nodded Sterling’s cross in despite the goalkeeper’s attempt to claw the ball off the line.
A huge smile stretched across the face of the new golden boy of English football as he celebrated by sliding in the corner.
ENGLAND: Hart, Clyne, Cahill, Jones, Baines, Henderson (Barkley 71), Carrick, Delph, Sterling, Welbeck (Walcott 77), Rooney (Kane 71).
LITHUANIA: Arlauskis, Freidgeimas, Kijanskas, Mikuckis (Stankevicius 66), Zaliukas, Andriuskevicius (Slavickas 83), Zulpa, Mikoliunas (Kazlauskas 88), Chvedukas, Cernych, Matulevicius.
Ref: Pavel Kralovec (Czech Republic).
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