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Wednesday, October 14, 2015, Aswin 29, 1422 BS, Zilhaj 29, 1436 Hijr

England make it 10 off 10
Published :Wednesday, 14 October, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 18
Vilnius, Oct 13: England made it a perfect 10 wins out of 10 in their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign as they completed the road to France with a 3-0 defeat of Lithuania on Monday.
Roy Hodgson's side had long since booked their place in next year's tournament, but they were keen to finish with an impressive 100 percent record before focusing on the December draw for the finals.
And even with an under-strength team, there was never any doubt England would do just that after Everton midfielder Ross Barkley opened the scoring midway through the first half at the LFF Stadium.
Lithuania goalkeeper Giedrius Arlauskis unluckily deflected Harry Kane's shot into his own net for the second and Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain struck after the interval to seal the stroll.
England are just the sixth team to win all of their matches in a European Championship qualifying campaign.
It is also the first time England have gone through qualification, in its current format, without dropping a point.
Spain were the last team to achieve a 100 percent qualification record in the Euros en route to winning the 2012 tournament.
But, despite being unbeaten in 15 matches, the low standard of their Group E opposition means Hodgson's team are still something of an unknown quantity and have plenty to prove before they can dream of emulating Spain's achievement.
"This is an achievement. I am very proud of the players' performances," Hodgson said.
"I thought we were 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."
Although it was a smooth night on the pitch, the English FA will be concerned by a brief outbreak of crowd trouble before kick-off as England supporters at one end of the stadium traded punches with their Lithuania rivals.
With top seeding and qualification as group winners already confirmed, Hodgson selected an unfamiliar side that the generous would politely label as experimental rather than severely weakened.
Stoke City's Jack Butland started in goal three years after his last cap and Jonjo Shelvey, Jamie Vardy, Kyle Walker and stand-in captain Phil Jagielka also featured among eight changes from Friday's 2-0 win over Estonia. AFP

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