Kane, Mount score, England beats Albania 2-0 in WC qualifying
If captain Harry Kane is the first name on England’s roster, then booming midfielder Mason Mount is not too far behind.
Both players underlined their importance to the national team by scoring the goals in England’s 2-0 win over Albania in the World Cup qualifiers on Sunday, which added to the 5- victory. 0 against San Marino in midweek which opened the Group I campaign.
Kane’s diving header on Luke Shaw’s cross in the 38th minute was the striker’s 33rd goal internationally, leaving the 27-year-old Tottenham star just 20 years off the all-time record held by Wayne Rooney. Kane had not scored for England in 16 months – since before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Kane has added a more creative aspect to his game this season at club level, and that was visible for the 63rd’s second goal when he fed Mount with a clean pass to his left.
The Chelsea midfielder smashed into the goal and lifted his tilted finish over goalkeeper Etrit Berisha.
Mount has started a seventh game in a row for England, having also established himself as a regular player at Chelsea this season – under Frank Lampard, who was fired in January, and his replacement Thomas Tuchel.
England coach Gareth Southgate has fierce competition for midfielder and forwards, but Mount looks confident he’ll be part of the squad as the European Championship draws near.
“He’s a really good player, but I was saying that in the fall,” Southgate said of Mount. “I guess now Thomas Tuchel chooses him, probably everyone will agree. When it was Frank, it didn’t matter for some reason.
“He’s an exceptional player. He intelligently finds space, handles the ball very well, creates chances and scores goals.
Southgate decided to play two midfielders again – this time Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips – despite limited opposition, in an approach that has its critics. This meant that England were hardly troubled in defense, where Shaw and John Stones started after long absences from the team, although England struggled to produce smooth football until Kane’s goal. .
Part of this could be attributed to the slow nature of the pitch, with the tall grass affecting the pace of England’s passing and making the squad’s roster feel heavy.
England were much better after the opening goal, with Kane losing a big chance for a second goal when he met a Raheem Sterling cross with a side-footed effort on the half-volley that propelled against the crossbar and rebounded clearly.
In the second half, Phil Foden had a reverse shot on the post by Berisha.
England face arguably their biggest threat in the squad on Wednesday when Poland travel to Wembley Stadium, and Robert Lewandowski will arrive in great shape.
The Bayern Munich forward has scored in 10 straight games for club and country after his brace in Poland’s 3-0 win over Andorra.
Hungary is tied with Poland on four points after beating San Marino 3-0.
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