England Hit San Marino For Ten To Book Their Place At Qatar 2022 In Style

Euro 2020 champions Italy, meanwhile, will have to face a play-off after being held by Northern Ireland
22:08, 15 Nov 2021

England booked their place at Qatar 2022 in style after hitting ten goals past lowly San Marino to confirm themselves as winners of Group I. 

Manager Gareth Southgate had vowed to take San Marino “very seriously” ahead of the World Cup Qualifier and kept his word on Monday night as England duly put the world’s lowest-ranked footballing nation to the sword. 

The win means that England’s place at the finals next year is secure, with Southgate’s men having only needed a single point against a side that have lost all nine group games in qualifying. It was a particularly fruitful night for Harry Kane, who broke a flurry of records as he added four more goals to his international tally and levelled with Gary Lineker on 48 in the all-time goalscorers charts.

The Three Lions opened the scoring in the fifth minute through Harry Maguire, who latched onto a Phil Foden corner to head home. That’s two in two for the Manchester United man - his celebrations this time were a little more subdued than they were against Albania on Friday, however. The second came less than ten minutes later, courtesy of an own goal from Fillipo Fabbri, diverting a Bukayo Saka shot past a helpless Elia Benedettini.

Kane etched his name into the history books when he notched his thirteenth England goal in 2021 from the spot. No player has ever scored more in a calendar year for England, and the Tottenham Hotspur forward overtakes George Hilsdon (1908) and Dixie Dean (1927) who both netted a dozen each. It was 14 for Kane and four for England on the night soon after, with the captain getting on the end of an Emile Smith Rowe ball into the box to scruffily slot in.

Kane completed a first-half hat-trick from the spot, before adding a fourth just three minutes later. With that remarkable 42-minute four goal haul, the 30-year-old became the first player to net four times for England since Ian Wright in 1993, and just the fourth player ever to score a hat-trick for England in consecutive appearances. 

The game, already resembling the “Stop! They’re dead already!” meme from The Simpsons, didn’t get much easier for the team ranked 210th in the world in the second-half. Smith Rowe capped his first England appearance with a goal on the 52nd minute to make it 7-0. Soon after, San Marino defender Dante Rossi was given his second yellow of the evening, only adding to the carnage.

Tyrone Mings rose highest to a Trent Alexander-Arnold cross for the eighth of the night, the Aston Villa man’s first goal for England, Tammy Abraham added the ninth on the 79th before Saka got his name on the scoresheet for number ten less than a minute later. Phew. Game, mercifully, over. 

Speaking to ITV after the match, Kane said: “Every time I wear an England shirt I am proud and when I score goals it is one of the nicest feelings I can have in my career.”

"We still need to keep working. I feel like we have been improving year on year. We have to make the most of the time, every training session to fine tune the little pieces."

Elsewhere, the biggest shock of the night came at Windsor Park as Northern Ireland held Italy to a goalless draw, meaning the Euro 2020 champions will have to head into a play-off next March. Switzerland instead will qualify automatically for the World Cup and they did it with some flair too, beating Bulgaria 4-0. 

Steve Clarke’s Scotland meanwhile sealed themselves a home play-off tie with a superb 2-0 win over Denmark. Goals came courtesy of Che Adams and John Souttar.

England are 7/1 to win Qatar 2022 with Betfred
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