Defoe delighted by England comeback goal

It was the Sunderland striker's first cap since November 2013 but he showed he still has a predatory instinct at global level - opening the scoring before substitute Jamie Vardy wrapped up a solid, if unspectacular, win for Gareth Southgate's side.

The 26-year-old played in England's 2-0 victory against Lithuania in the World Cup qualifier at Wembley.

England are 1-33 with some bookmakers to win the group but Southgate is not expecting it to be so easy, especially with a trip to Scotland awaiting in June.

"It's a great moment for him", Southgate said of Defoe after the game.

"That's a amusing one because when I go to my mum's she's got every kind of meat you can imagine out on the table".

"But if he is scoring goals in the Premier League and playing as well as he has this season, then there is absolutely no reason why he couldn't [go to the World Cup]".

Defoe struggled to keep his emotions in check as he wound back the years at Wembley, where he led the team out with Bradley Lowery, the terminally-ill five-year-old who calls the Sunderland striker his "best mate".

"It's important to get my head down, keep working hard and just do what I've been doing".

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"For us younger players to see a player come back into the team, stepping up and getting a goal, it is a massive thing for us". "The sharpness obviously comes with games but in terms of fitness and stuff like that, not fatiguing towards the end of games, I still feel good".

"You can't win things with just kids and inexperience and it is great to have someone like (Defoe) around the camp", Lallana told British media. I always thought if I do get selected that I could still score goals at this level.

Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli was one of the Three Lions' most impressive performers and, like Lallana, he enjoyed lining up alongside a former darling of the White Hart Lane faithful.

"I'm English and proud to be English and I think part of your identity as a national team has to be pride in the shirt".

"He scored goals against Liverpool when we played, he scored two". "I'm going to do this and be rewarded". I know when I need to have a rest day.

"The demands on the players are so high with the intensity of the games these days", Defoe said. Gareth phoned me and said, "Even if you're not in the squad I will still call you".

Defoe was only 18 when he was on loan at Bournemouth and equaled the post-ward records by scoring in ten consecutive games, one player that remembers it well is Adam Lallana and he stated it is surreal to be playing with someone like Defoe.

  • Julie Sanders