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England fail to sparkle, but job done against Estonia


England's Raheem Sterling in action last night

England's Raheem Sterling in action last night

AFP/Getty Images

England's Raheem Sterling in action last night

Theo Walcott bagged his seventh goal of the season as England maintained their 100 per cent qualifying record with a narrow and largely uninspiring 2-0 win over Estonia.

Walcott has been in top form for Arsenal, scoring four goals since being moved up front for the Gunners.

The 26-year-old had to settle for a role out wide, but he still proved deadly, turning home a great pass from Ross Barkley to score the first goal.

Raheem Sterling then scored his second England goal to round off the victory, which came in front of an impressive crowd of 75,427 at Wembley.

The manner of England's first-half play was not so impressive.

For the most part, they could not puncture an organised and hard-working Estonian team, who stand 87th - below Iraq and Guatemala - in the Fifa rankings.

However, there were flashes of brilliance, mainly from the electric feet of Barkley.

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England will come up against tougher opposition than this - and the Lithuanian side they will play in their final Euro 2016 qualifier on Monday - but they now have nine wins from nine matches and no one can complain about that.

If they beat Lithuania in Vilnius, they will become the sixth side in history to qualify for the European Championship with a pristine qualifying record.

Those who popped off early for their half-time pie missed the breakthrough, however.

Just when it looked like the Estonians had managed to hold out for the first half, Barkley sliced open the visitors' defence to find Walcott, who took one touch before rolling the ball past Aksalu.

Hodgson brought Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jamie Vardy on to inject some life into the game and it was the Leicester forward who helped put the win beyond doubt five minutes from time. Vardy latched on to Kane's flick-on from a long punt up field from Joe Hart and he squared for Sterling, who had the simplest of finishes.

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