LONDON, United Kingdom, Nov 12 – England shrugged aside the potential ramifications of sanctions over poppy emblems Friday with a 3-0 Wembley win over Scotland to bring a 2018 World Cup berth a step closer.
A trio of headers from Liverpool pair Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana and Chelsea’s Gary Cahill saw interim coach Gareth Southgate’s side cruise home, the win consolidating England’s leadership of Group F as they made it 10 points from four games.
For Southgate, who replaced newspaper sting victim Sam Allardyce following an opening away success in Slovakia, the three points were a welcome boost after a nervous draw in their previous outing in Slovenia, aiding his chances of taking the post full time.
Slovenia stayed in touch just two points behind the leaders after edging Malta 1-0 away while Slovakia are two points further back after whipping Lithuania 4-0.
The Scots meanwhile now trail England by six points, their hopes of snatching a place in the finals in Russia seemingly at an end as coach Gordon Strachan hangs on to his job by his fingernails.