Bertrand helps England to victory

By SFC Media Sun 26 Mar International
Photo by Matt Watson | Ryan Bertrand

Ryan Bertrand played the full game for England, as they took another step towards qualifying for the 2018 World Cup by beating Lithuania 2-0.

Bertrand was one of four Saints players in the squad for the qualifier, at Wembley Stadium, alongside Fraser Forster and senior new boys James Ward-Prowse and Nathan Redmond.

Nathan Redmond and James Ward-Prowse warm up at Wembley (Photo: Matt Watson)

While his three colleagues watched on from the bench, Bertrand again started at left-back for his country, as he had done a few days previously in the 1-0 friendly defeat away to Germany.

The 27-year-old turned in an assured display for the Three Lions, who made the breakthrough midway through the first half, as Raheem Sterling burst in behind the visitors’ defence and picked out Jermain Defoe to side-foot home from about eight yards.

Ryan Bertrand celebrates the opener with Jermain Defoe (Photo: Matt Watson)

Bertrand came close to setting up a second goal for England when his superb low cross from the left corner of the area found Sterling at the back post, but he was unable to turn the ball in from close range.

England did finally get themselves a cushion in the 66th minute, as an intricate move ended with ex-Saint Adam Lallana’s clever touch freeing Jamie Vardy, who stroked the ball past Lithuania keeper Ernestas Šetkus, not long after coming on for Defoe.

The result further strengthens England’s position at the top of Group F, giving them 13 points from their opening five games, as they reach the halfway mark on the road to next year’s finals, in Russia.