Gareth Southgate and Harry Kane gave England a ‘very good year’ plus an automatic Qatar World Cup ticket

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The head coach of the Three Lions of England, Gareth Southgate believes that the country had a “very good year” after he got a Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup ticket for the country.

Recall that Southgate who has been the head coach of England since 2016, led the country to the final of Euro 2020 in July 2021. England lost the tournament to Italy via penalties.

On Monday, November 15, Gareth Southgate led England to San Marino to play their last FIFA World Cup qualification match and the English squad scored 10 times without conceding a goal.

The 10-0 victory over San Marino came three days after England defeated Albania 5-0 at Wembley Stadium.

In the case of the qualification game against San Marino, the host country stood no chance because before the first half ended, England had already scored 6 goals – four goals from Harry Kane, one from Harry Maguire, and one own goal.

In the second half, coach Gareth Southgate decided to give room for some of the youngsters in the squad to prove themselves and they didn’t disappoint.

Arsenal’s youngster, Emile Smith Rowe who made his international debut against San Marino on Monday, got his first international goal against the country in the 58th minute of the game.

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In the 68th minute, San Marino’s Rossi was shown the red card which made it impossible for the team to dream about a comeback. A minute later, Tyrone Mings made it 8-0 for England.

While in the 78th and 79th minutes of the game, Tammy Abraham and Bukayo Saka scored the 9th and the 10th goal of the match respectively.

The 10-0 win over San Marino widened the gap between England and second-placed Poland in Group 1. England made it to Qatar 2023 World Cup with 26 points in 11 games, 6 points above Poland.

“The qualification was earned away in Budapest, Warsaw, and Albania,” Gareth Southgate told ITV after the 10-0 victory over San Marino.

“I have to credit all our players and staff for a very good year. We cannot do anything about the level of opposition but the mentality and the way they applied themselves was terrific.”

On the win over San Marino, Southgate added: “We knew we’d win the game. What we wanted was to challenge the team to put a high level of performance in.

“We know the opposition isn’t strong but the mentality within the group shone through again and when you’ve got senior players like Conor Coady, Tyrone Mings, Harry Maguire, and Harry Kane, who set the tone, then it’s something for the young players to feed off.

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“They had a structure to play in and were able to express themselves, and we finish the year, what’s been a tough year in terms of a full World Cup qualifying campaign and a full European Championship, but the mentality of the team and all of the staff, they’ve given everything and I’m very proud of what they’ve done across the year.”

Gareth Southgate described Harry Kane as a phenomenal goalscorer

Harry Kane and coach Gareth Southgate.
Harry Kane and coach Gareth Southgate.

Harry Kane had a very wonderful World Cup qualification rounds in November. He scored a hattrick against Albania, and also scored a hattrick against San Marino.

This feat made him the 4th player in history to score a hat-trick for England in consecutive appearances. The first set of players to achieve such a feat are Vivian Woodward (1909), Dixie Dean (1927), and Tommy Taylor (1957).

The 7 goals Harry Kane scored against Albania and San Marino have taken his total international goals to 48 goals in 67 appearances. He is currently the country’s 3rd all-time highest goalscorer, just 5 goals away from catching up with first placed Wayne Rooney.

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Southgate said: “If we left him on another half an hour, we would have had Wayne Rooney’s family on the phone. He is a phenomenal goalscorer, we wanted to give him the chance tonight and he took it well.

“I watched Lineker, I’ve played with Rooney and Bobby Charlton is a legend of English football so, to be in that sort of company speaks volumes for the quality of finisher that he is.

“He’s got an insatiable appetite to score goals. If we win and he hasn’t scored he’s happy with the win but he’s not really happy full stop. So, this week he’s hit that record and in some of these games against weaker opponents, we haven’t allowed him to play more recently.

“So, I think for him, he was desperate to be involved and we wanted to give him that chance and it’s a huge achievement to get to where he is in the number of games he has as well.”

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