Harry Kane scored four goals as England routed 10-man minnows San Marino in their final World Cup Qualifier to secure their place at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Kane’s four-goal haul at the San Marino Stadium drew him level with Gary Lineker on 48 England goals.
England only needed a point from this game to ensure automatic qualification but thoroughly outclassed San Marino by racking up double figures for the first time since 1964.
Harry Maguire’s powerful header gave England the perfect start before Filippo Fabbri deflected Bukayo Saka’s shot into his own net.
The rest of the first half was the Harry Kane show as he netted a half-volley in between two penalties, before a fine solo goal saw England hold a comfortable 6-0 lead at half-time.
Emile Smith-Rowe and Tyrone Mings scored their first ever England goals in the second-half, while San Marino’s misery was compounded with Dante Rossi dismissed for fouling debutant Conor Gallagher.
Tammy Abraham and Saka finished the demolition job late on as Trent Alexander-Arnold ended the game with a hat-trick of assists but the contest was long over.
This was England’s biggest win since thrashing Ireland 13-0 in 1882 and it could have been more with VAR ruling out strikes from Abraham and Jude Bellingham.
Kane, speaking to ITV, said: “When we win our games people write off the opposition, but it’s a tough battle and to go through is a fantastic feeling.
“Every time I wear an England shirt I’m proud and when I score goals it’s a great feeling. We still need to keep working, we are improving year on year.”
Kane’s remarkable goalscoring return for England is in stark contrast to his underwhelming performances at Spurs this season.
The England Captain now has seven goals in his last two games following his hat-trick in the 5-0 thrashing of Albania on Friday.
After moving joint third with Lineker, Kane is behind only Sir Bobby Charlton and Wayne Rooney on the all-time England top scorers list.
England manager Gareth Southgate jokingly said: “If I’d left Harry Kane on for the last half an hour, we’d have had Wayne Rooney’s family on the phone telling us to get him off!”
He then went on to praise Harry Kane’s efforts as a “phenomenal goalscorer.”
The win meant England finish top of Group I with 26 points, having gone unbeaten during their qualifying campaign.
Poland finished second in the group, securing their play-off place despite a disappointing 2-1 loss at home to Hungary.
Southgate will now be planning ahead in order to mount a strong challenge in Qatar after England made the 32 team shortlist for the World Cup Finals.
Southgate said: “I’ve got to credit all of our players and staff for a really good year. We finished with a very young side and a lot of promise for the future.
“This is a good opportunity to look at some of the younger players and what experiences they might need before the World Cup.”
The players return to their club duties for the foreseeable future with the next international break for UEFA nations scheduled for March 2022.
My article was also published here!: England 10-0 San Marino: Three Lions confirm place at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar – PA Diploma News