Defoe scores on England return

Jermain Defoe made a goalscoring return for England as they beat Lithuania 2-0 in a World Cup qualifier at Wembley on Sunday.

  • England 2 Lithuania 0
  • Hosts in control throughout
  • Defoe opens scoring in first half
  • Vardy on target in second period
  • Three Lions take command of Group F

Match Summary

Edgaras Jankauskas' side posed little threat to the hosts, who took the lead through Defoe on 21 minutes before Jamie Vardy sealed the win in the 66th minute.

The Three Lions moved five points clear at the top of Group F, with Lithuania sitting a further eight points adrift in fourth spot.

Full Report

??? #threelions

A post shared by England (@england) on Mar 26, 2017 at 11:00am PDT

Gareth Southgate's men dominated proceedings in the English capital, but had to wait until the 14th minute for their first chance, which saw Adam Lallana draw a comfortable save out of Ernestas Setkus with his deflected shot from 20 yards out.

Defoe then tested Setkus from close range on 20 minutes after being played in by Lallana, and the Sunderland striker opened the scoring with his next touch moments later as he got on the end of Raheem Sterling's cross to steer the ball in the back of the net.

A rare opportunity for the visitors in the 27th minute saw Fedor Chernykh chest down a cross from Vykintas Slivka before dragging his shot wide of the left post from just outside the area.

Defoe threatened again two minutes later when Eric Dier found him lurking just outside the box, but he fired narrowly wide of the left post.

The final chance of the first half would fall to Lithuania in stoppage time, although they were unable to capitalise on a mistake from Joe Hart, whose sliced clearance let in Vykintas Slivka, but John Stones hacked his header off the line.

Sterling wasted a good opportunity to double England's lead early in the second half when he failed to make clean contact with Ryan Bertrand's cross at the back post on 47 minutes, while Dele Alli directed his header over the crossbar three minutes later after connecting with Kyle walker's cross.

Hart made amends for his earlier error with a fine save to keep out Slivka on 53 minutes, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain forced Setkus into a sharp stop with his strike from distance moments later.

The Three Lions were celebrating again on 66 minutes as Vardy doubled their lead just six minutes after his introduction from the bench, the Leicester striker showing good composure to slot past Setkus after Lallana's flick sent him in on goal.

There's the second goal! ? #threelions

A post shared by England (@england) on Mar 26, 2017 at 10:32am PDT

There were more chances for the English but Marcus Rashford fired wide with a dipping shot from distance, while Alli's effort from inside the area lacked the power necessary to beat the keeper before Vardy lifted the ball over the bar after latching onto Rashford's fine pass.

The closing stages produced another couple of opportunities, although Oxlade-Chamberlain fired straight at Setkus and Alli's flicked header from Rashford's cross missed the target.