2016 European Championship Qualifying, Group Stage 2016
  • Wayne Rooney (7')
  • Danny Welbeck (45')
  • Raheem Sterling (58')
  • Harry Kane (73')

Harry Kane makes instant impact as England thrash Lithuania

Harry Kane made an instant impact as England maintained their 100 percent record in Euro 2016 qualification group E with a 4-0 victory over Lithuania.

England, who had name in-form Tottenham striker Kane on the bench, should have been ahead inside four minutes as Fabian Delph released Wayne Rooney with a ball over the top of the defence, but the captain struck the inside of the post.

The Manchester United forward did not need long to make amends, though, heading home after Lithuania keeper Giedrius Arlauskis had parried a Danny Welbeck shot into his path to move within two goals of Sir Bobby Charlton's England scoring record.

Rooney then saw another effort come back off the crossbar and, although Lithuania also had occasional chances, England went in 2-0 up at the break when Welbeck's header was deflected into the net.

In the second half, England increased their lead when Raheem Sterling turned in a Rooney cross for his first international goal, and on 73 minutes Kane headed home just 80 seconds after coming off the bench.

Four years ago Kane was playing in front of 4,581 supporters while on loan for Leyton Orient against Dagenham & Redbridge. On Friday night, 83,671 witnessed the first of what they hope will be many an England goal for Kane.

He now has 30 to his name this season -- a remarkable statistic considering he started the campaign as third-choice striker at Spurs.

Manager Roy Hodgson could not be happier at the final whistle -- Italy will put up much more resistance in Turin on Tuesday than Lithuania did, but England got the job done.

They played with width, flair and potency at the start of the first half and never looked like conceding. 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.

Kane's name caused the loudest cheers when it was read out before kick-off, but the 21-year-old would have to wait to hear the roar of the crowd again as he took his place on the bench.

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 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 striker pounced, nodding in from five yards.

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.

Lithuania did have a reasonable penalty shout waved away though when Tomas Mikuckis' overhead kick struck Michael Carrick's hand, but the only real chance the visitors created in the first half came when Deivydas Matulevieius found space in the box only for Phil Jones to make a firm tackle.

Henderson and Welbeck both went close and Rooney tested Arlauskis with a free-kick as England remained on top. And in the final minute of the first half they doubled their lead. Welbeck stooped to meet Henderson's cross and the ball flew into the net off Tadas Kijanskas' leg.

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 United and England captain drifted right and whipped in a low ball which Sterling knocked in for his first international goal. The crowd roared when they saw Kane was being readied to come on, and 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.

Sterling then started hobbling after suffering an injury in a tackle with Vytautas Andriuskevieius late on. Kane could not find a second to make his debut even more memorable, but it did not matter.

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