England took another step towards qualifying for Euro 2016 with a convincing 4-0 victory over Lithuania. Despite not starting like many anticipated, Harry Kane still managed to steal the show with a goal on his international debut just 79 seconds after entering the game. The win makes it 5 from 5 for England and they remain 6 points clear at the top of group E.
Roy Hodgson’s men looked firmly in control throughout the match, with Rooney opening the scoring after just 6 minutes. He is now just 2 shy of Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time scoring record, but he easily could have levelled it after twice striking the woodwork. England managed to double their lead just before the break, with Danny Welbeck adding his 6th goal in qualifying via a deflected header. Many called for Kane to start ahead of Welbeck, but Hodgson stuck with the Arsenal man and he put in another impressive performance.
Sterling scored his first international goal after tapping in from Rooney’s cross just before the hour mark. The moment everyone was waiting for came shortly after, with Rooney making way for Kane to make his England debut. It would turn out to be another fairytale chapter for the Spurs striker, who scored just 79 seconds later and with his third touch of the ball. Kane drifted in at the back post and headed home from a cross from Sterling, sparking jubilant scenes at Wembley and ensuring that he would be the one to steal the show despite coming on as a substitute.
It was all smiles for England who have been convincing in qualifying, but it is important to remember that they have a favourable group and have not yet been fully tested since the World Cup. There are plenty of positives to take from the game however, and Hodgson will be delighted that he has a number of attacking options now up his sleeve.
Elsewhere in group E, Slovenia thrashed winless San Marino 6-0, whilst Switzerland comfortably dispatched Estonia 3-0. This sees Lithuania fall behind, with Slovenia and Switzerland now on 9 points and remaining 6 points adrift group leaders England.
England travel to Italy for a friendly on Tuesday, with another friendly lined up on the 7th of June against the Republic of Ireland. They then face joint second placed Slovenia a week later, in what should be a fiercely contested match with Slovenia hungry to close the gap and solidify their qualification for Euro 2016.