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EC 2020 Qualification Report: England 7-0 Montenegro - Qualification sealed with Kane treble in 1000th game


After a week dominated by discussion of Raheem Sterling, the Manchester City winger watched England book their place at Euro 2020




Harry Kane hit a first-half hat-trick as England secured their qualification for Euro 2020 with a 7-0 win over Montenegro, moving on from the Raheem Sterling-Joe Gomez saga in emphatic fashion in their 1000th match.

The build-up to the Three Lions' milestone fixture had been marred by a confrontation between team-mates Sterling and Gomez, resulting in the Manchester City winger being dropped for Thursday's game.

But against poor opponents at Wembley, England's tough week behind the scenes looked to have been forgotten momentarily.

Needing only a point to qualify, victory secured top spot in Group A as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kane, Marcus Rashford and Tammy Abraham were on target, along with an own goal in front of watching England heroes past and, in Sterling's case, present.

However, a reminder of a testing few days came in the form of a mixed reaction for Liverpool defender Gomez on his introduction from the bench late on, even as Sterling applauded his colleague from the stands.

While Gomez started on the bench, John Stones and Harry Maguire – the preferred centre-backs – were scarcely engaged in a defensive sense as Gareth Southgate's side quickly took control.

The opener arrived after just 11 minutes as Ben Chilwell picked out Oxlade-Chamberlain to rifle low into the net from the right side of the box, marking his first international start since March 2018 in style.

Chilwell was again the provider as Kane nodded in a left-wing free-kick to double England's lead, and the same two soon combined once more as the captain was left unmarked from a corner to head home.

Maguire headed straight at Milan Mijatovic but Rashford smashed in the rebound, before Kane controlled a deflected Trent Alexander-Arnold cross and slotted in his third and the hosts' fifth.

Mason Mount was denied his first England goal by an offside flag early in the second half, and the Chelsea man's blushes were spared on 66 minutes when he mistimed a close-range volley and Aleksandar Sofranac hacked the wayward shot in off the crossbar for an own goal.

There was still time for substitute Abraham to open his international account, squeezing an effort under Mijatovic from Jadon Sancho's cutback to cap the scoring.

-- Courtesy of Goal.com


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