Gareth Southgate’s team is on the verge of World Cup qualification as Harry Kane scores a first-half flawless hat-trick and a 5-0 win over Albania at Wembley Stadium.
Gareth Southgate’s team now only needs a point from Monday’s trip to San Marino to secure a place in Qatar 2022.
With the memory of last month’s disappointing stalemate against Hungary fresh in their minds and Albania third in the group, England’s Friday night Qualifier had the potential to be tense, but a remarkable five-goal blitz in the first 45 minutes swept their opponents away.
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Kane (18, 33, 45+2) put his Premier League woes aside to become England’s all-time top scorer in competitive matches, and, while he could have scored as many as six in the first half, his stunning deflected scissor-kick for his third felt like an emphatic response after Tottenham’s early-season struggles.
During a remarkable first half, which included a scare at the other end when Kyle Walker’s awful back-pass forced Jordan Pickford to save brilliantly from Myrto Uzuni with the score at 1-0, Harry Maguire’s header (9) had set England on their way, and Jordan Henderson (28) also scored his first Wembley goal to the delight of a sell-out national stadium.
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England vs Albania 5-0 Highlights 2022 World Cup Qualifiers
With Poland’s victory in Andorra, England only needs a point against San Marino, the world’s lowest-ranked team, on Monday to secure their position in the World Cup.