England rounded off an unbeaten World Cup qualifying campaign with Harry Kane’s first-half penalty sealing an uninspiring 1-0 victory over Lithuania in rainy Vilnius on Sunday.
Gareth Southgate’s side topped Group F with 26 points from 10 games, eight more than second-placed Slovakia, but their comfortable progress to Russia masks a worrying lack of flair.
England enjoyed 71 percent of possession on a slick artificial surface but managed only four shots on target as they failed to penetrate a resolute home defense.
Once again it was captain Kane who made the difference -- taking his goal tally to six in his last seven internationals.
He finished clinically from the spot in the 27th minute after his Tottenham Hotspur team mate Dele Alli tumbled in the area under a clumsy challenge from Ovidijus Verbickas.
There was precious little else to warm the rain-soaked England fans who made the long trip to the tiny stadium.
“It was not a fantastic performance but solid,” Kane said. “They didn’t create many (chances), we had a few. We were missing a bit of quality really in the final third. The surface was difficult but we have to do better.”
England made seven changes from the 1-0 victory over Slovenia on Thursday that guaranteed a sixth successive World Cup qualification -- that match also decided by Kane.
Kane scores again as England win final qualifier