Harry Kane ends England goal drought but tougher tests await

Gareth Southgate was pleased by victory in Albania but pointed to areas of improvement as England head into Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier against Poland in good health.

England's Harry Kane celebrates his side's first goal during the World Cup 2022 group I qualifying soccer match between Albania and England at Air Albania stadium in Tirana. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)
England's Harry Kane celebrates his side's first goal during the World Cup 2022 group I qualifying soccer match between Albania and England at Air Albania stadium in Tirana. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)

England struggled on the stodgy Air Albania Stadium surface for much of the opening period, only for Harry Kane to expertly head home a cross from returning Luke Shaw as half-time approached.

The skipper hit the woodwork shortly after scoring his first international goal in 16 months, with Phil Foden seeing an effort tipped onto the post before Mason Mount coolly wrapped up a 2-0 win

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“I think we controlled the game very well,” said England boss Southgate.

England's Harry Kane (left) was back among the goals (Picture: AP).

“For the first 25 minutes or so we just struggled to find space in behind their midfield. The space was there, we could get the connections to the players.

“We just tweaked a little bit the way we were building up and then we had a little bit more joy, certainly down the left side with Luke, Raheem (Sterling) and Mason connecting to begin with.

“Then gradually that happened on the right as well, so I think we were pleased with that.

“We controlled most of the game in that period, should have scored more.

“I didn’t particularly like the way we managed the last 15 minutes. I just thought there were some decisions we made that needed to be better in order to either score more or not invite pressure

“I thought we could have kept the ball a bit better in those periods.

“But, look, it’s a good win and we move on in healthy condition to Wednesday.”

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