KEIR RADNEDGE at WEMBLEY: Harry Kane wrote another chapter in his Boy’s Own season by scoring with virtually his first touch on his England debut in a 4-0 win over Lithuania.
The Tottenham youngster had arrived only 79 seconds earlier as a substitute for captain Wayne Rooney when he rose in at the far post to meet a left-wing cross from Raheem Sterling with a decisive header which the goalkeeper scrambled in vain to prevent crossing the line.
“He’s a great sniper,” said Lithuania coach Igoris Pankratjevas.
Kane said: “It’s a special night and definitely one I won’t forget. It’s what you dream of as a kid, it’s a bit of a daze and I’m enjoying every minute of it.
“I’ve worked hard to be here. It’s been a great week. I was excited to play and to score is a dream come true. The boss made his decision and I had to get on with it and when called upon be ready. To be able to repay the fans is amazing.”
England thus maintained, with ease, their 1o0pc record in Euro 2016 qualifying group E with a fifth victory which was never in doubt from the moment Rooney put them ahead in only the sixth minute. Lithuania never had shot, either on target or off it.
The Manchester United striker might have a had a hat-trick inside the opening 20 minutes. Before his goal Rooney had already shot against a post and later he headed against the bar.
Danny Welbeck, impressive alongside his former club-mate up in attack and official man of the match, scored a second goal just before half-time and Sterling added a third almost on the hour before the Kane cameo added a warming glow to the evening for Roy Hodgson.
England’s manager said: “I’m delighted for Harry Kane after all the hype. It’s been a great week for him and let’s hope it’s the start of a long England career.
“He’ll have to learn to cope with a media spotlight which has been enormous already and will, if anything, grow a bit bigger but he’s in ghood hands with Mauricio [Pochettino] at Tottenham and we’ll do our best to make sure we don’t build him up to knock him down but to be an important part of our future.
“Overall, we’re happy with the result and it’s another win along the way.”
Minor injuries will keep Raheem Sterling, Leighton Baines and James Milner out of next week’s friendly in Italy. Ryan Bertrand has been summoned to replace Baines.
Lithuania coach Pankratjevas had no illusions about what he had just witnessed.
Probably relieved that defeat was only by four goals, he said: “We lost by a big margin to a team who were better in all aspects of the game. One team played and we just sweated and worked hard. But we made some bad mistakes in defence which made it easier for England.”
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