England score 5 times in the first half, including a Kane hat-trick. The Three Lions now only need a point against San Marino to qualify for Qatar!
Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane netted a hat-trick, including a spectacular overhead kick, as England cruised to a 5-0 victory over Edoardo Reja’s Albania at Wembley Stadium on Friday. The result edges the Three Lions closer to qualification for the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
Gareth Southgate’s outfit would have qualified had Poland dropped points against Andorra, but Friday’s result means a draw in their next match against San Marino on Monday will be enough to guarantee England’s place at next year’s tournament.
Beleaguered Manchester United captain, Harry Maguire, opened the scoring on nine minutes with a powerful header, before celebrating by putting his fingers in his ears, in an apparent message to his detractors.
Kane netted his first of the match shortly after with a close-range headed goal, following a floated cross from midfielder Jordan Henderson.
The Liverpool captain then added one of his own 10 minutes later, when he beat several Albanian defenders, before firing the ball past goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha.
Kane found his second on 33 minutes, firing home after a quick layoff from Raheem Sterling, before a sealing a historic hat-trick with a superb overhead kick in first-half injury time.
The incredible strike moves him level with England legend Jimmy Greaves, as the Three Lions’ fourth all-time leading scorer. The 28-year-old now has 44 goals for England. Wayne Rooney remains the country’s record scorer with 53 successful strikes.
“The first half was an incredible performance. The pressure was on and we needed a result. Maybe we had a point to prove and we came out on fire,” Kane said after the game.
The hitman’s performance on Friday was England’s first ‘perfect hat-trick’ – a header, left-footed and right-footed goals – since David Platt achieved the feat in 1993.
“I thought Harry gave a brilliant centre forward’s performance – held the ball up, played other people in. His all-round game was excellent,” Southgate said.