England off to Russian Federation but Kane's late show can't paper over cracks

Oct 07, 2017, 00:37
England off to Russian Federation but Kane's late show can't paper over cracks

England have progressed through to their 15th World Cup following a slender, and soulless, 1-0 victory over Slovenia, meaning they can't be caught at the summit of qualifying Group F.

"It's the nature of playing for England and managing England", said Southgate, who stepped into the breach after Sam Allardyce was brought down by a newspaper sting following just one game at the helm.

"We want the crowd to be excited with what they're watching".

Slovakia are second in Group F on 15 points, but when three points are subtracted from their total for their win over bottom side Malta, they go to 12 points.

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Harry Kane celebrates England's victor against Slovenia.

Elsewhere in the group, Scotland kept their qualifying hopes alive in dramatic fashion as a late Martin Skrtel own goal gave them victory over 10-man Slovakia at Hampden Park.

It is clear that huge improvements need to be made between now and next summer if England are to have any chance of going deep at the World Cup.

While the quality of the performances has left a lot to be desired, England have developed a knack of scoring late goals throughout the qualifying campaign - namely a last-ditch victor away to Slovakia, a late Kane equaliser in Scotland and now the England captain's last-gap intervention at Wembley.

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Kane has been in scintillating form for Spurs in recent weeks, scoring 11 goals across all competitions in September, including seven in his previous three outings against West Ham, APOEL Nicosia and Huddersfield.

The game, which will also raise money for the Bobby Moore Fund, is the first time Brazil have played at Wembley since 2013.

Gareth Southgate started with Kane, named captain for the first time, alongside Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Correct Score markets are looking like the best choice and a solid 3-0 win for the home team could be very possible.

"England have qualified for a World Cup and that's a big deal".

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However, the hosts struggled to create much against a well-organised Slovenian side.

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