By 90Min
October 08, 2017

England defeated Lithuania 1-0 on the latter's home turf on Sunday with a controlled performance that left many supporters pretty let down.

Lithuania, coming into the game as the 120th-ranked in the world and fifth in Group F, could only hope to gain more experience, while the Three Lions started the match having already qualified.

Gareth Southgate had the pleasure of recalling Dele Alli to the side, following the midfielder's one-match ban, and he was joined by Spurs teammates Harry Kane, Harry Winks and Kieran Trippier.

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Southgate would make seven changes to the side that won against Slovenia during the week, with Trippier, Winks, Jack Butland, Harry Maguire and Aaron Cresswell all getting the nod.

But there wasn't much to report in the first half, save for Harry Kane's 27th-minute opener from the spot after Dele Alli won a penalty by getting tripped up in the box.

Manchester United star Marcus Rashford showed some great skill attacking from the right wing, and nearly set Alli up with a goal of his own in the half. The youngster proved the only semblance of entertainment for England all game.

The game trickled into halftime in quite the same manner, and England would head into the tunnel holding their slim lead, with 45 minutes left to play in their qualifying campaign.

The second half kicked off in like fashion. England controlled most of the possession in the opening minutes, but to no real effect.

Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge came on for Rashford with 18 minutes left on the clock, and Jesse Lingard would come on to replace Alli on 80 minutes.

That would be just about all of it from England, but Sturridge did come close to doubling the lead in stoppage time, and would have done so from close range had it not been a block from a Lithuania shirt.

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The final whistle brought an end to what could have still been considered a stalemate, leaving Southgate and his men looking towards Russia, having come off an unbeaten qualifying campaign.

The new boss has enjoyed a neat little spell in charge of the team, but the real work is soon to come, with the finals looming and expectations pretty high.

Starting Line-Ups

Lithuania: Setkus, Borovskis, Klimavicius, Zulpa, Girdvainis, Andriuskevicius, Slivka, Verbickas, Novikovas, Sernas, Cernych.

England: Butland, Stones, Keane, Maguire, Trippier, Henderson, Winks, Cresswell, Alli, Rashford, Kane.

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