FIFA World Cup 2018
Qualifying – Europe
Wembley Stadium, London, England
In the 113th encounter between the two sides, England defeated Scotland 3-0 at Wembley Stadium in their fourth World Cup Qualifying match to extend their unbeaten run in Group F. The scoreline flattered the Three Lions, who were sloppy for the majority of a match in which Scotland spurned a number of good chances.
A first-half Daniel Sturridge header put the Three Lions ahead before Adam Lallana and Gary Cahill headed home to add to the tally in the second-half.
After quite an evenly contested first 20 minutes, the hosts went ahead in the 23rd minute when a teasing cross from Kyle Walker was glanced home into the top-corner by Sturridge.
Since going behind the visitors made a good response and had a good chance three minutes later when a free-header from Grant Hanley sailed over the bar following a corner. Three minutes later Scotland had another great chance after Wayne Rooney lost possession, Leigh Griffiths surged forward and had Robert Snodgrass in support but instead went alone to no avail as his deflected effort was easily saved by Joe Hart. Had he found Snodgrass, the Hull City midfielder would have been through on-goal.
Scotland started the second-half in the ascendancy and had a good chance when Lee Wallace pulled a cross back to Griffiths, who let the ball run to James Forrest, who fired wide when he should have scored. A minute later the Scots had another good chance when Wallace pulled a cross back to Snodgrass, whose effort was blocked well by John Stones.
A minute later England doubled their lead when a fine cross from Danny Rose was guided home by Lallana with a header. It was against the run of play, but a lack of concentration in defence from the visitors helped the Three Lions.
Two minutes later Scotland went close when Forrest found the arriving James Morrison, who fired an effort that Joe Hart palmed away.
In the 61st minute the hosts made it three when a Rooney corner was met by Cahill, who headed home past Craig Gordon, who could only help it on its way.
Eight minutes later England should have made it four when a dangerous cross from Jordan Henderson found Raheem Sterling at the back-post but the Manchester City winger somehow missed an open-goal; firing over the bar from a yard out.
In the 71st minute Scotland went close when a Forrest cross was headed into the side-netting by Snodgrass following a freekick.
Scotland’s final chance came in the 91st minute but Griffith’s freekick sailed onto the roof of the net.
The result meant that England remained on top on 10 points whilst Scotland dropped to fifth; still on four points. Slovenia moved into second on eight points after defeating Malta, who remain bottom of the Group without a point. Slovakia leapfrogged Lithuania into third on six points. Lithuania are now in fourth on five points.