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England end Euro 2016 qualifiers with 100% record

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Having already qualified for France 2016, England headed into last night’s final qualifier against Lithuania full of confidence and Roy Hodgson’s Three Lions recorded a convincing victory, topping their group with a 100% record.

England made it ten wins from ten games thanks to goals from Ross Barkley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and became just the sixth side in the competitions history to have maintained a perfect record in qualifying.



Roy Hodgson named an inexperienced side, with his starting eleven having a combined number of caps of just 140.

Despite that, the Three Lions began brightly, as they have throughout the tournament. Ross Barkley, who was named man of the match after an impeccable display, got England going with a deflected effort, and the Everton youngster could have had another with a header. But two goals and two assists from his five qualifiers have shown manager Hodgson what the midfielder is capable of.

Admittedly, Barkley has his flaws, but he is still a very young player and has little international experience. That said, two man of the match performances have showcased his talent, and it would be a huge mistake if Hodgson wasn’t to take him to France next summer.


Harry Kane is another that has grown in confidence on the international stage. Despite not scoring, the Tottenham striker played a pivotal part in England’s second goal as his left footed strike hit the post before rebounding in off Giedrius Arlauskis to double the visitors advantage. But prior to that, he had forced three saves from the Lithuania goalkeeper as he looked to extend his international scoring form.

Kane has netted three goals in six England appearances, and despite not quite hitting his domestic form he showed for Spurs last season, the striker is surely guaranteed a place in Hodgson’s squad for next summer’s campaign.


England added a third late on when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fired into the roof of the net; another young player that has hit the heights in both the domestic game for Arsenal and on the international stage.

Despite being just 22 years old, the Arsenal winger has more caps than Kane and Barkley combined. This explosive, young and attacking trio could certainly add another dimension to Hodgson’s tactics when England travel to France next summer, and will certainly give the opposition plenty to ponder.


Despite coming through the qualifiers unscathed, we must bear in mind that England had a relatively easy group. Switzerland were the only relatively threatening side, but the Three Lions came out on top in both fixtures.

How will England fare when they take to the international tournament next summer? Playing against the ‘bigger teams’ could prove tricky; that said, the Netherlands are in real danger of failing to qualify, as are Sweden, Denmark and Serbia respectively.

After another impressive England display, manager Roy Hodgson said; “This is an achievement. I am very proud of the players’ performances. I thought it was excellent, in the first half especially. There was a lot of hard work put in, the quality of play was good and 10 wins out of 10 is very satisfying – we’ve got to take a lot of pride in that.

“I can’t fault anyone tonight – a good performance, dominant and a nice way to end the qualifying campaign.

“It would have been a surprise if we had not qualified. But the upcoming friendlies are better, stronger sides. We’ll see how we deal with that.”


England will head into next summer’s tournament full of confidence, and face friendlies against Spain, France and Germany before the campaign kicks off. These friendlies will be a good test to see how Roy Hodgson’s side will cope with facing the bigger sides, but this youthful England team look confident, and there is plenty for fans to be optimistic about.


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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Euro 2016 Qualifiers harry kane Lithuania roy hodgson Three Lions

About Dale Ventham

Dale Ventham is an editor at The Sports Lowdown. He writes on the lower leagues of English football and Speedway in particular.

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