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San Marino succumb to Lithuania

San Marino 0-2 Lithuania
Deivydas Matulevičius and Arvydas Novikovas scored but chances were missed as the visitors found their footing in qualifying Group E.

San Marino succumb to Lithuania
San Marino succumb to Lithuania ©UEFA.com

• Deivydas Matulevičius scores early but misses two further chances
• Arvydas Novikovas hits Lithuania's second before half-time
• Four Lithuania players make competitive debuts
• San Marino without a goal in 12 UEFA European Championship matches
• Next games: England v San Marino, Lithuania v Estonia (9 October)

Lithuania made a comfortable, if unspectacular, start to their UEFA EURO 2016 Group E campaign, first-half goals from Deivydas Matulevičius and Arvydas Novikovas enough to quell San Marino.

The Lithuanians had to work hard for a 1-0 win here the last time they visited in 2004, but an early strike put them at their ease in Serravalle, and the only concern for coach Igoris Pankratjevas was that his side failed to add to their tally after the interval, San Marino having failed to trouble visiting goalkeeper Giedrius Arlauskis.

A substantial victory looked to be in the offing as – not for the first time in recent games – Mindaugas Kalonas's ball into the box was tidied away by big CS Pandurii Târgu Jiu forward Matulevičius. Kalonas and Matulevičius both passed up chances to extend that fifth-minute advantage, and Aldo Simoncini saved from Novikovas's right-footed shot before the Germany-based winger made it 2-0, curling the ball in with his left foot after a tidy flick from Georgas Freidgeimas.

However, that was to be the end of the scoring. Kalonas, Novikovas and Karolis Chvedukas all missed the target from decent positions in the second period. They will seek to sharpen their shooting for when Lithuania take on Baltic rivals Estonia in their next Group E fixture on 9 October.