England record perfect Euro 2016 qualifying campaign

Hodgson's side beat Lithuania to become only the sixth team to go through qualifying with 100% record.

    England made eight changes to the team that took the field last Friday [Getty Images]
    England made eight changes to the team that took the field last Friday [Getty Images]

    England became only the sixth team to end a European qualifying campaign with a 100 percent record when they beat Lithuania 3-0 in their final Group E match.

    England, showing eight changes from the team that started Friday's 2-0 win over Estonia at Wembley, put themselves into a commanding position after scoring two goals which went in off the same right-hand post inside the opening 35 minutes.

    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain blasted England's third at Arlauskis's near-post after 62 minutes as they emphatically made it 10 wins out of 10, the only team in this qualifying competition to win all of their matches.


    Estonia 0-1 Switzerland

    Lithuania 0-3 England

    San Marino 0-2 Slovenia 

    Belarus 0-0 Macedonia

    Luxembourg 2-4 Slovakia 

    Ukraine 0-1 Spain

    Austria 3-0 Liechtenstein 

    Russia 2-0 Montenegro

    Sweden 2-0 Moldova

    England sealed their place in the Euro 2016 finals last month and never remotely looked like squandering the chance of joining France (1992 and 2004 qualifying), Czech Republic (2000), Germany and Spain (both 2012) as the only countries to have achieved a perfect qualifying record.

    The victory, on a chilly night in the Lithuanian capital, meant England finished the campaign with 30 points, followed by Switzerland 21, Slovenia 16, Estonia 10, Lithuania 10 and San Marino one.

    Elsewhere, Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his eighth goal in eight Euro 2016 qualifiers as Sweden beat Moldova 2-0 in Stockholm, but his side must content themselves with a playoff spot after Russia beat Montenegro 2-0 to claim second spot in Group G.

    Undefeated group winners Austria thumped Liechtenstein 3-0 to finish on 28 points, eight more than Russia and 10 ahead of the Swedes, who will find out their opponenets when the playoff draw is made in Nyon, Switzerland on Sunday.

    Making his first competitive start at a half-full Friends Arena, striker John Guidetti struck the woodwork in the fourth minute and it took the Swedes a further 20 to open the scoring.

    Captain Ibrahimovic beat the offside trap and latched on to a long ball from Andreas Granqvist before coolly rounding Ilie Cebanu and rolling the ball into an empty net.

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    He was also involved in Sweden's second, chasing down another long ball which Cebanu rushed out to meet but could only clear as far as Guidetti, who rolled the ball unselfishly to Erkan Zengin to chip into the top corner.

    Switzerland played like a team already eyeing next year's Euro 2016 finals as they rounded off their qualifying campaign with a listless 1-0 win in Estonia.

    The Swiss, who sealed their place in next year's finals with 7-0 win over San Marino on Friday which guaranteed second place in Group E, made chances but lacked urgency against a side needing a freakish set of results to claim a playoff spot.

    The game did come to life late on with Ats Purje wasting a good chance for Estonia before Breel Embolo's trickery forced Ragnar Klavan to bundle the ball into his own net in stoppage time.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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