England skipper and Tottenham striker, Harry Kane, put in a man-of-the-match performance and proved he is one of the world’s best slot machines while helping his national side get by a tricky Albania team.
‘The Three Lions’ eased by San Marino at Wembley in mid-week. A few days later they faced a much sterner test in Albania who appeared well-organised throughout the game.
Gareth Southgate’s men looked disjointed in the early period of the game.
John Stone had the first chance of the match, his header went over the bar with 10 minutes on the clock. A sloppy ball from an England midfielder allowed Albania in, Myrto Uzuni shot off target. when he really should’ve done better.
After 30 minutes England started to make things click. Kyle Walker’s long shot was the teams first on target. A few minutes later and England went in front.
Luke Shaw provided a picture-perfect cross for Kane to nod home, end his six-game goal drought in international football and put England ahead.
Kane really should’ve made it 2-0 just moments later. Raheem Sterling played the ball into the six yard box but Kane found the underside of the bar with his half-volley.
In the second half, England continued to push for a second goal. Phil Foden went close. A combination of Albania goalkeeper Etrit Berisha and the woodwork kept the score at 1-0.
The game was settled after 63 minutes. Kane turned provider for Mason Mount who masterfully chipped of the Albania ‘keeper.
England have now won both of their World Cup qualifiers and sit top of Group I. On Wednesday they should face a much sterner test when Poland travel to Wembley.
Post-match, Southgate was pleased with what he saw.
“What pleased me was that we adapted well to a pitch that was difficult to move the ball on,” Southgate said. “We controlled the game and, after about 25 minutes, changed the shape of the midfield a little bit and we looked a lot more dangerous. They had a different formation to the one they played in the last 25 matches, so we adapted to that and were comfortable for most of the second half.
The England boss felt his team could’ve managed the game better in the last 15 minutes.
“We have opportunities at the end of the game and should have killed the game off and I didn’t like the way we managed that game in the last 15 minutes,” Southgate said. “We charged forward when we didn’t need to, we nearly conceded from throw in at the end. I’m pleased with the win but there were areas we can certainly tighten up on.” (Transcribed by Sky Sports)
How do you think England will fare against Poland on Wednesday? Will Harry Kane get on the scoresheet again?