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It's a polished finish as England's perfect 10 makes Roy Hodgson happy

Lithuania 0-3 England

By Paul Hirst

Published 13/10/2015

Taking aim: Harry Kane gets a shot in on goal during England’s 2-0 win in Lithuania
Taking aim: Harry Kane gets a shot in on goal during England’s 2-0 win in Lithuania

England manager Roy Hodgson was delighted to round off a perfect qualifying campaign with the comfortable 3-0 win.

Roy Hodgson's men wrote their name into the record books on a cold night in Lithuania, becoming the first Three Lions side to qualify for a major championships by winning every match.

England reached the European Championship finals with three matches to spare, but ensured their final competitive fixture before next summer's trip to France would be a memorable one.

The victory was as straightforward as expected against a side ranked 116th in the world, with the triumph in Vilnius seeing them become just the sixth side ever to reach the Euro finals with a 100 per cent record.

It was an impressive end to Group E by the Three Lions, who boasted a two-goal lead by half-time after Ross Barkley's long-range effort deflected home and Harry Kane's shot went in off Lithuania goalkeeper Giedrius Arlauskis.

A fierce Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain added extra gloss to a scoreline that some inside the tiny LFF Stadium appeared to care little about, preferring instead to clash in the home end before and during the encounter.

"I'm very proud of the players' performance," he said. "It was excellent the way they (the players) went about their business tonight.

"The quality of our play was good and to get 10 wins out of 10 is never easy so we've got to take pride in it.

"The players who represented us tonight did a terrific job and strengthened their chances of being considered ahead of France.

"I couldn't fault anybody tonight and it was a very nice way to end what's been an excellent qualifying campaign for us.

He added: "We knew it would be a surprise had we not qualified, but now we know also that in France we'll come across better opposition and we'll see how we deal with that."

England's captain on the night, Phil Jagielka, said: "We knew it was going to be a difficult task to win all 10 but that was the game plan from day one and obviously we managed to do it.

"We have good youth (players) coming through and hopefully if we can nurture it we could have something special. We have chose some really tough friendlies. It will be hard games but we will try to prove ourselves."

Third goalscorer Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain added: "The pitch was difficult and it skidded through, it made it hard to run in behind but we did what we needed to do. We are very excited about going to France, we have belief in this squad."

Belfast Telegraph

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