EURO 2016: England finish perfect, Ukraine fall into playoffs

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A recap of Monday’s action in 2016 European Championship qualifying:

Lithuania 0-3 England

Roy Hodgson’s men went 10-for-10, collecting all 30 points in Group E. No other side finished with the maximum number of points in EURO 2016 qualifying. So on one hand, England have a ton of momentum heading into next summer’s tournament (assuming all is not lost between now and then — it’s still England, after all). On the other hand, their group consisted of Switzerland, Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania and San Marino, so it’s quite tough to know whether they’ve been good or the beneficiaries of an easy group. In any event, not dropping a single point from 10 games, no matter the competition, is pretty impressive.

On Monday, they brushed aside fifth-place finishers Lithuania, 3-0. Ross Barkley scored from a big deflection in the 29th minute (assisted by Harry Kane). Kane scored six minutes later, though his goal, a left-footed finish from a tight angle, was ultimately given as an own goal to the Lithuania goalkeeper after the ball bounced off the near post, hit his back and crossed the line. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain completed the scoring with a finish from close range.

Ukraine 0-1 Spain

Villarreal defender Mario scored the only goal, a header of Thiago Alcantara’s left-footed cross, in Spain’s 1-0 victory over Ukraine. Having already qualified for EURO 2016, Spain manager Vicente del Bosque elected to rotate nearly his entire squad.

Ukraine’s defeat means they’ll have to go through the third-place playoff to qualify for EURO 2016. A win would have meant finishing as the top third-place side, but their Monday defeat means Hungary qualify automatically instead.

Elsewhere in EURO 2016 qualifying action

Group C

Belarus 0-0 Macedonia
Luxembourg 2-4 Slovakia

Group E

Estonia 0-1 Switzerland
San Marino 0-2 Slovenia

Group G

Austria 3-0 Liechtenstein
Russia 2-0 Montenegro
Sweden 2-0 Moldova