Harry Kane's stunning debut helps England march on

Friday 27 Mar 2015
Harry Kane wheels away in delight after his debut goal
Harry Kane scored a dream debut goal with his first touch at Wembley to complete a comprehensive 4-0 win for England.

The 21-year-old conjured up yet another moment of magic to add a new chapter to his fairytale season.

England 4-0 Lithuania

European Championship Qualifier
Wembley Stadium connected by EE
Friday 27 March 2015
Attendance: 83, 671

His strike – a backpost header – came inside 80 seconds of his arrival, adding to goals from Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Raheem Sterling to cap off a truly amazing week for Tottenham Hotspur’s latest hero.

Much of the pre-match talk was about the in-form striker, who had been called in by Roy Hodgson for his first taste of senior international football. 

But he had to wait a little longer as Rooney, the old master, and Danny Welbeck led the way with Kane waiting in the wings. 

The game was just three minutes old when the England skipper hit the post following a deft ball over the top from Fabian Delph, although he was not to be denied for long when he opened the scoring soon after.

Welbeck, England’s leading scorer in European Qualifying, found space on the right, drove into the box and cracked an effort across goal. 

HIGHLIGHTS: England 4-0 Lithuania

Lithuanian keeper Giedrius Arlauskis made the save with his feet, but Rooney was perfectly placed to head the rebound into the empty net for his 48th international goal, taking him to just two behind Sir Bobby Charlton’s record.

Before the game had reached the 20th minute, Rooney could have had his hat-trick, but was again denied by the woodwork. His well-directed header from Welbeck’s clipped cross left Arlauskis stranded, but the keeper would have been relieved to see the ball bounce out.

England ahead of kick-off against Lithuania

England ahead of kick-off against Lithuania

England were on top and were rarely threatened by the visitors, who sat six point behind them in joint-second place prior to kick-off. 

Deivydas Matulevicius did have a sniff of an opening just after the half-hour mark when Vytautas Andriuskevicius’s cross found him darting across the area eight yards out. Phil Jones was alert, though, and did enough to block the Lithuanian’s effort.

A Rooney free-kick, which was saved by Arlauskis on 39 minutes after foul on Welbeck, sparked England back into life. 

The skipper then chested a chipped pass from Jordan Henderson into the path of Welbeck, but the Arsenal man’s strike curled just over the bar from 18 yards.

Their pressure eventually yielded a second goal on the stroke of half-time, as Welbeck stooped to turn Henderson’s cross from the left goalwards.

Wayne Rooney scores England

Wayne Rooney scores England's opener against Lithuania

A deflection off Tadas Kijankskas in front of the keeper helped the ball roll over the line for his sixth goal of the season and England were cruising

Soon after the break Delph came close to opening his account for England, Rooney picking him out with a lofted pass towards the far post and the Aston Villa schemer met it with a crisp volley 15 yards out. Arlauskis made a fine one-handed save to keep it out.

The Steaua Buchareșt stopper was acting as a one-man wall at times, and was once again forced into a strong save when Welbeck smashed another strike from the right which was just heading inside the post.

Wayne Rooney congratulates Danny Welbeck on his deflected strike

Wayne Rooney congratulates Danny Welbeck on his deflected strike

He could do nothing about Sterling’s first goal for England, which came just before the hour. Again Rooney was involved, crossing low into the six-yard box shortly after Welbeck had seen a penalty appeal waved away.

The Liverpool man was onto it like a shot, slotting home with the keeper going the other way.

And then the moment everyone seemed to be waiting for – Kane stripped off to get ready for his England bow. It seemed like an age as he waited with Ross Barkley for the ball to go out of play. When it finally did, the crowd greeted his arrival almost as loudly as what came just 80 seconds later.

Raheem Sterling nets England

Raheem Sterling nets England's third goal

England set off on another attack Sterling beat his man on the left to cross from the byline and the Lithuanians had not clearly heeded Kane’s warning – 29 goals in 43 games this season – leaving him unmarked at the far post. 

His head met the ball with enough power that Arlauskis could only parry inside the upright and Kane reeled away in true Roy of the Rovers fashion.

And among all the euphoria Hodgson’s men wrapped up another three points to stretch their winning run – it is the first time England have started a campaign with seven straight victories.

England (4-3-3); 1 Joe Hart; 2 Nathaniel Clyne, 5 Gary Cahill, 6 Phil Jones, 3 Leighton Baines; 4 Jordan Henderson, 8 Michael Carrick, 11 Fabian Delph; 7 Raheem Sterling, 10 Wayne Rooney (captain), 9 Danny Welbeck.

Substitutes: 18 Harry Kane for Rooney, 20 Ross Barkley for Henderson, 14 Theo Walcott for Welbeck 77.

Subs not used: 23 Robert Green, 13 Jack Butland, 12 Chris Smalling, 15 Phil Jagielka, 16 James Milner, 17 Andros Townsend, 19 Ryan Mason, 21 Kieran Gibbs, 22 Kyle Walker.

Goals: Rooney 6, Welbeck 45, Sterling 58, Kane 73.

Bookings: Sterling.

Manager: Roy Hodgson

Lithuania (4-4-2): 1 Giedrius Arlauskis; 3 Georgas Freidgeimas, 6 Marius Zaliukas, 4 Tadas Kijanskas (capt), 5 Tomas Mikuckis; 15 Karolis Chvedukas, 7 Arturas Zulpa, 13 Saulius Mikoliunas, 23 Vytautas Andriuskevicius; 22 Fiodor Cernych, 9 Deivyadas Matulevicius.

Substitutes: 19 Simonas Stankevicius for Mikuckis 66, 17 Vaidas Slavickas for Andriuskeviciu 83, 11 Donatas Kazlauskas for Mikoliunas 88.

Subs not used: 21 Vytautas Cerniauskas, 2 Gedminas Vicius, 8 Egidijus Vatikunas, 10 Gratas Sirgedas, 12 Emilijus Zubas, 14 Vytautas Luksa, 16 Ricardas Beniusis, 18 Mindaugas Panka, 20 Valdemar Borovskij.

Bookings: Zaliukas, Kazlauskas.

Head coach: Igoris Pankratjevas.

Referee: Pavel Kralovec (Czech Repubic)

Assistant: Roman Slysko (Slovakia) and Martin Wilczek (Czech Republic)

By Jamie Bradbury FA Editor At Wembley Stadium connected by EE