Veteran Defoe, making his first appearance for nearly three-and-a-half years, fired lacklustre England ahead in the 21st minute at Wembley, but Gareth Southgate’s team struggled to finish off a Lithuania side who are 93 places lower in the Fifa rankings.
It was hardly an emphatic performance, but the result kept
It took 34-year-old Sunderland striker Defoe to inject some spark, first latching on to Adam Lallana’s clever reverse pass to force a fine save from Setkus and then firing England ahead with his 20th goal for his country.
Raheem Sterling burst towards the byline and squared the ball for Defoe to plant a shot past Setkus – his first England goal since bagging two against San Marino four years ago.
The lively Defoe flashed another snap-shot just wide, but
The hosts had a scare on the stroke of halftime when a clearly offside Nerijus Valskis headed towards an open goal under pressure from goalkeeper Joe Hart, but his weak effort was cleared off the line by a retreating John Stones.
There was no discernible change of gear at the start of the second half as fans ambled back to their seats.
Defoe then made way for Vardy – with Marcus Rashford replacing