England take control of Lithuania
Written By: Robert Halter
In late March, England met Lithuania in a World Cup qualifier at Wembley stadium. On thirteen minutes, Adam Lallana tested the Lithuania keeper, Ernestas Setkus with a right footed shot from outside the area which was saved towards the top centre of the goal. Then in the twentieth minute, Lallana slid the ball though to Jermain Defoe, whose first time shot from the right side of the six yard box was blocked by Setkus in the centre of the goal. But within a minute, Defoe was on the score sheet, when from Raheem Sterling’s low left wing cross, Defoe riffled the ball into the top right roof of the net. In the twenty eighth minute, Fedor Cernych’s strike from outside the box went wide to the left through an assist by Vykintas Slivka. A minute later, from a lay off by Eric Dier, a low soaring strike by Defoe, drifted past the left post. But on the stroke of half time following a long headed pass by Linas Klimavicius, there was hesitancy by Joe Hart, and a header by Vykintas Slivka, went over the Three Lions keeper, and had to be cleared away from the goal line by John Stones. As the second half resumed, a dangerous ball in by Ryan Betrand, tried to pick out Sterling at the far post, but the ball was shepherded back to Setkus by Vaidas Slavickas. In the forty ninth minute, a cross over from the right by Kyle Walker, was met with a cushioned header by Dele Alli over the upright. Within a minute, Alli’s incisive pass found Defoe on the right side of the box, but his effort was stopped by Setkus. Then instantly following a cross by Walker, a header by Alli from the centre of the box went high and wide to the left. But Lithuania responded through the creativity of Fiodor Cernych and Hart had to rise and make a save towards the bottom left corner after clutching hold of Slivka’s strike. But the Three Lions responded in the fifty third minute, as Alli’s pass through to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, brought out a save from Setkus, who reacted to Oxlade-Chamberlain’s fierce effort by springing to his left to push the ball away. Lithuania then changed Arvydas Novikovas with Mindaugas Grigaravicius, before England changed Defoe with Jamie Vardy and Marcus Rashford was brought on for Sterling. In the sixty second minute, Arturas Zulpa struck a right footed shot from distance which sailed wide to the left through an assist by Vaidas Slavickas. Two minutes later, following a move by Rashford, a strike by Alli on the left side of the box was saved by Setkus towards the bottom right corner. A three way combination brought England’s second goal on sixty six minutes, as Walker shadowed the ball for Lallana, who quickly found Vardy, to tuck the ball away past a stranded Setkus. Three minutes later, Lallana’s early cross in, fooled Vardy, who miss kicked from a goal scoring position. On seventy minutes, Rashford fired an effort high and wide to the right after collecting a pass from Lallana. In the next two minutes, Walker’s ball across was connected to weakly by Alli, leaving Setkus with an easy stop to make. Lithuania coach, Edgaras Jankauskas soon replaced Nerjus Valskis with Deivydas Matulevicius. .In the seventy ninth minute, Rashford opened the door for Vardy, but as Setkus ran out to close the angle down, Vardy was unable to find the target as he lifted the ball over the crossbar. Three minutes later from a Rashford corner, a clear headed chance by Dier, was blazed wide to the left. On eighty five minutes, Oxlade-Chamberlain’s crisp left footed strike from range was stooped by Setkus in the centre of the goal. Near the end, Lithuania made a change as Simonas Paulius replaced Slivka. On eighty eight minutes from Rashford’s cross, a header by Alli, went wide of the right post. England created another chance, when from Alli’s intervention, at a tight angle on the left, the legs of Setkus thwarted Rashford’s right footed strike from close range which then followed with Ryan Bertrand firing wide to the left from outside the area from Rashford’s pass as England secured a 2-0 victory over Lithuania with Defoe voted the Vauxhall man of the match.