Jermaine Defoe scores in comeback as England toil to win vs Lithuania

The Sunderland striker marked his Wembley return with the opening goal in England's 2-0 win over Lithuania in their World Cup qualifying Group F match.

Jermain Defoe adorned his worldwide comeback with a goal as England toiled to a 2-0 victory over Lithuania in a forgettable World Cup qualifier at Wembley on Sunday.

Gareth Southgate insists Jermain Defoe can make England's World Cup squad after the Sunderland striker scored on his return to worldwide football.

Defoe's move to Toronto FC in Major League Soccer back in 2014 saw him fall out of favour with former England manager Roy Hodgson.

"We would love to have scored five or six but we didn't but we won the game, we are top of the group and our goal is Russian Federation". It's hard to put in words really to be back.

England's record scorer faces a fight just to get back in the England squad as he struggles for playing time at United.

Harry Kane's injury contributed to Defoe's recall but the Sunderland striker has not ruled out being called upon by Gareth Southgate again in the future.

Aside from Defoe notching a first global goal for four years, the Wembley crowd witnessed some forgettable fayre, with Lithuania's lack of ambition and England's sluggish early tempo contributing to a paucity of goalmouth action.

Defoe made a point of never retiring from global football, even when a move to Major League Soccer appeared to spell the end of such ambitions, and has successfully put himself in World Cup contention next summer.

"If we are going to be successful, we have got to have that competition for places".

Injuries to younger strikers seem to be the best chance of Defoe making the squad for Russian Federation, assuming unbeaten England completes the job in the second half of qualifying.

But it seems that these teeth at the moment are too small to cause at least some scratching England. "But we know probably the reasons why that happened - because the Premier League is the best league in the world, it's very famous and has the very best foreign players coming to play there". Both teams ended the game with 10 men after red cards were shown in the final 12 minutes. The other team Lithuania also had played six matches so far.

  • Julie Sanders