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World Cup Russia 2018 tickets & update

World Cup 2018 Russia Qualifying: England 2-0 Lithuania

England have successfully secured the top spot in Group F with a fairly easy 2-0 victory against Lithuania, courtesy of goals from thirty-four old Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe and Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy. England manager Gareth Southgate's Three Lions side lead Group F with 13 points from their opening five games and are on track to secure a place at the 2018 World Cup. In other groups around Europe,, France is in the top spot of Group A, and Portugal is close behind Switzerland in Group B. World Cup holders Germany are ahead in Group C, and Spain are level at Group G with rivals Italy. A highlight of the round included Chelsea target Lukaku rescuing a point for Belgium v nine-man Greece in Group H. Robert Lewandowski is key for Poland in Group E, while Belgium (H) and Croatia (I) are on top as well.

Match Report

England 2-0 Lithuania
Prior to kick-off, respects were paid to the four victims of last week’s terror attack in Westminster. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Football Association’s Greg Clarke, Acting Met Commissioner Craig Mackey and Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, each laid a wreath in the center-circle prior to a period of silence. Jermain Defoe opened the match scoring to mark his first international cap in more than three years as England moved towards next summer’s World Cup 2018 finals with a 2-0 win over Lithuania at Wembley Stadium in London. Sunderland’s Defoe vindicated his England recall after a strike at 21 minutes from Raheem Sterling’s cross. England substitute Jamie Vardy added a second as England extended their lead at the top of Group F with another point. Gareth Southgate’s England side are firmly on track on the Road to Russia 2018. Vardy’s 66th-minute goal gave England some welcome breathing space in their group. Manager Southgate and his England side next look forward to a June double-header with confidence including a mouth-watering qualifier against Scotland followed by a friendly in France.

Lithuania played a strongly defensive game, but England eventually broke them down, Lithuania are ranked 107th in the world by FIFA, Southgate used a 4-2-3-1 system having experimented with 3-4-2-1 in Wednesday’s 1-0 friendly loss to mighty Germany with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replacing Jake Livermore in central midfield, Sterling recalled, and John Stones playing alongside Michael Keane. England came alive after 20 minutes but got off to a slow start. Adam Lallana delivered a clever reverse pass to Sterling on the right, but Lithuania goalkeeper Ernestas Setkus rushed off his line and made a crucial save. However a persistant England would not be denied for long. One minute later, Sterling burst into the box and sent a low cross to Defoe who easily side-footed past Setkus.

Lithuania was ineffective as an attacking force. Fiodor Cernych’s shot went tamely wide. Defoe almost doubled England’s lead shortly before the half-hour mark with a shot from the edge of the box that went wide of Setkus. England’s dominance was obvious as the visitors almost equalized at half-time. Nerijus Valskis who was clearly offside but not flagged beat England captain Joe Hart with a long header, but Stones was able to clear the ball away to safety. Valskis went close at the start of the second half and Hart made a save low to his right. Oxlade-Chamberlain tried to score past Setkus from long range, Then Southgate brought on a double substitution on the hour subbing strikers Manchester United youngster Marcus Rashford and Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy for Defoe and Sterling. Vardy scored within seven minutes. Kyle Walker fired a pass into Lallana on the edge of the box and the Liverpool midfielder sent the ball to Vardy with a touch and Vardy delivered a clinical finish.

England boss Gareth Southgate will go into his next match optimistic after his first two matches as permanent England manager in succession to Sam Allardyce. Southgate was delighted with England's display even in defeat in the friendly against Germany in Dortmund on Wednesday, and England’s win against Lithuania gave The Three Lions three more points towards World Cup qualification. Injuries to England’s main striker Harry Kane and all-time record goal scorer for Manchester United and England Wayne Rooney forced Southgate's hand as he called on Defoe who has earned 14 Premier League goals for Sunderland this season. Southgate will want Tottenham's Harry Kane restored to full fitness as soon as possible. Twenty-three year old Kane has 19 goals and 4 assists for Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League this season. Southgate will want the natural goal scorer fully recovered from his ankle injury as a key player for England through the rest of the campaign. However Kane has endured a dry spell with England, with only 5 goals in 17 appearances. Kane is currently recovering from ankle ligament damage and is weeks away from full fitness.

Gareth Southgate's first game at Wembley since taking over for Sam Allardyce on a permanent basis left England firmly in control at the top of Group F. Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe, 34, justified his call-up with a typically clinical winner after 21 minutes and a powerful performance that demonstrated that Defoe still has a part to play for his nation under this manager. When Southgate needed someone to break down Lithuania's stubborn defense after the break, substitute Jamie Vardy came through from close-range in the 66th minute, converting a touch from Liverpool's Adam Lallana inside the area to score the insurance goal. England and Southgate should have no problem in progressing to Russia from their group consisting of Slovakia, Slovenia, Scotland, Lithuania and Malta. Under former England manager Roy Hodgson, England enjoyed an untroubled qualifying campaign for Euro 2016, with 10 wins out of 10 against Switzerland, Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania and San Marino. England set off for France with confidence but only recorded one win against Wales before their embarrassing exit against minnows Iceland in the last 16.

With Joe Hart as No.1, England are the only team to have kept a clean sheet in each 2018 World Cup qualification game to date. Manager Southgate was obviously pleased with his choice of Defoe. “I think we’ve got to look every time we get together as to who is in form,” said Southgate. “I don’t know if we can have a distinct pecking order because players who are playing well deserve the opportunity. If we are going to be successful we have to have that competition for places. The reality is we will always lose players to injury – we’re never able to pick a full cohort – so it’s important we can call upon the likes of Jermain and that he can have the impact like he did today. If he scores like he is in the Premier League, there’s no reason why he wouldn’t be involved in 2018,” continued Southgate. “It was a great moment for him. He was thrilled to be back involved in the squad and he’s enjoyed his week immensely. He’s been a good senior professional to have around the team, both in terms of the way he’s trained, his professionalism which has been great for the younger players to see and his finishing in training and then today, which we expected really. I would have put my house on him scoring at some stage against Lithuania. He’s had a really positive impact on everybody. We’ve selected him on form. We’ve got really good competition for places. We need to have that.”

"I thought it was one of those afternoons where it's job done,” said Southgate after the match. "I am not going to eulogize over the performance, but the overall week I think has been really positive in setting the tone of how we want to work. The players have got a good feel about them, a spirit and they see the direction we want to head. For sure, we'll play better than we did today." Southgate has asked his England players to be brave and excite a sold-out Wembley crowd in Saturday’s World Cup qualifier against Malta, as he promised to start Wayne Rooney, most likely in midfield, despite the captain’s recent difficulties at Manchester United. Southgate spoke with great emotion on the eve of his first match at Wembley as the manager of the national England side. and he made it clear that he wanted a fan-pleasing performance of style, as much as a result.

“I think the players are getting an understanding of my beliefs in terms of how I want an England team to play,” Southgate said. “One of the most important messages for me to get across is that I want them to be brave and excite the supporters. Any England team that goes out, I want to play with style. Winning is the ultimate aim, but that will be a consequence of the performance and our work every day.”

2018 World cup qualifying groups: Europe

The group winners all qualify for the tournament, while the eight-best group runners-up go into a playoff round in November 2017. The four winners of the two-leg ties will qualify for the 2018 World Cup. After five matches, the standing of the competing teams and their points by Group are as follows:

GROUP A

  1. 1 France 13 points
  2. 2 Sweden 10 points
  3. 3 Bulgaria 9 points
  4. 4 Netherlands 7 points
  5. 5 Belarus 2 points
  6. GROUP B

  7. 1 Switzerland 15 points
  8. 2 Portugal 12 points
  9. 3 Hungary 7 points
  10. 4 Faroe Islands 5 points
  11. 5 Latvia 3 points
  12. 6 Andorra 1 points
  13. GROUP C

  14. 1 Germany 15 points
  15. 2 Northern Ireland 10 points
  16. 3 Czech Republic 8 points
  17. 4 Azerbaijan 7 points
  18. 5 Norway 3 points
  19. 6 San Marino 0 points
  20. GROUP D

  21. 1 Serbia 11 points
  22. 2 Republic of Ireland 11 points
  23. 3 Wales 7 points
  24. 4 Austria 7 points
  25. 5 Georgia 2 points
  26. 6 Moldova 1 points
  27. GROUP E

  28. 1 Poland 13 points
  29. 2 Montenegro 7 points
  30. 3 Denmark 7 points
  31. 4 Romania 6 points
  32. 5 Armenia 6 points
  33. 6 Kazakhstan 2 points
  34. GROUP F

  35. 1 England 13 points
  36. 2 Slovakia 9 points
  37. 3 Slovenia 8 points
  38. 4 Scotland 7 points
  39. 5 Lithuania 5 points
  40. 6 Malta 0 points
  41. GROUP G

  42. 1 Spain 13 points
  43. 2 Italy 13 points
  44. 3 Israel 9 points
  45. 4 Albania 6 points
  46. 5 Macedonia 3 points
  47. 6 Liechtenstein 0 points
  48. GROUP H

  49. 1 Belgium 13 points
  50. 2 Greece 11 points
  51. 3 Bosnia H 10 points
  52. 4 Cyprus 4 points
  53. 5 Estonia 4 points
  54. 6 Gibraltar 0 points
  55. GROUP I

  56. 1 Croatia 13 points
  57. 2 Iceland 10 points
  58. 3 Ukraine 8 points
  59. 4 Turkey 8 points
  60. 5 Finland 1 point
  61. 6 Kosovo 1 point
  62. England tickets

    Buy legal, authentic England World Cup 2018 Qualifiers Tickets now securely online to watch the Three Lions in live action! Be there to cheer for your team – buy England tickets for their clashes against Scotland, Slovakia, and Slovenia at great prices from 1st4FootballTickets.com!

    England World Cup 2018 Qualifiers Tickets
    June 10 Scotland v England Tickets Hampden Park - Glasgow
    September 4 England v Slovakia Tickets Wembley Stadium - London
    October 5 England v Slovenia Tickets Wembley Stadium - London

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