England secured their qualification for Euro 2020 in memorable fashion with a 7-0 thumping of Montenegro in their 1000th international game on Thursday evening.
It was a cruise throughout the game for the hosts and they got off to a rapid start as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ended his long wait for an international goal with the opener. Harry Kane then got two quickfire strikes as he twice got on the end of excellent balls from Ben Chilwell to nod in. Marcus Rashford also got in on the act as he blasted in a fourth on the half hour mark. Kane got a deserved hat-trick before half-time with a well-placed shot from close range.
The scoring continued for England throughout the second-half but it was not one of Gareth Southgate’s troops this time as Aleksandar Šofranac put through his own net. Tammy Abraham was the man to round off an impressive night for the Three Lions as he netted late on as England secured their place at next summer’s tournament.
Perfect start to England
The hosts got the match off to the perfect start as Oxlade-Chamberlain opened the scoring. The Liverpool man took down a fantastic ball from Chilwell and hammered the ball into the far corner of the Montenegro net.
Following the opener, there looked to be no route back into the game for Montenegro as England began to coast. Kane doubled the lead as he got enough space away from his marker to nod the ball home from Ben Chilwell’s free-kick.
Hat-trick for Kane
That combination proved to be particularly effective once again as the Three Lions notched a third. Awarded a corner-kick, the left-back put it right in the six-yard box, allowing Kane the easy task of once again to glance it into the bottom corner.
Despite Jordan Pickford being forced into an excellent diving save, the home side’s dominance continued throughout the opening half, even notching a fourth. Harry Maguire was unfortunate to be denied from close range before Rashford picked up the ball and hammered into the net.
The chances and goals indeed kept coming and Kane got his hat-trick before the break. Immaculately bringing down Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross, he then coolly slotted the ball into the far corner with an accomplished finish.
Mason Mount thought he too had got another as he finished from Mijatovic’s save but he was flagged offside.
Sofranac puts through his own net
The Three Lions were not quite as impressive in the second period but they did extend the lead but only through a huge helping hand from Montenegro. Rashford’s cross was somehow not turned in by Jadon Sancho or Mount. Sofranac attempted to clear but only served to lash the ball past his own goalkeeper.
The scoring was rounded off late on and it was another milestone as Abraham got his first goal for the national side. Chilwell again played a key role as he rolled Sancho in behind, with the Borussia Dortmund man putting it on a plate for the striker to tap home and seal a memorable night Southgate and his men.
The gap between these two teams really was massive. England were terrific in attack, with the visitors simply incapable of dealing with their considerable threats. Having qualified in their 1,000th international, the match will be one remembered for a long time for fans of the Three Lions.
England: Pickford (7); Chilwell (9), Maguire (8), Stones (7), Alexander-Arnold (8); Mount (7) (Gomez (7), 70′), Winks (6), Oxlade-Chamberlain (7) (Maddison (6), 56′); Rashford (7), Kane (9) (Abraham (7), 57′), Sancho (6).
Montenegro: Mijatovic (7); Radunovic (4) (Raspopovic (5), 45′), Simic (4), Sofranac (5), Vesovic (5); Hocko (5), Lagator (6), Vukcevic (6); Habsakanovic (5) (Boljevic (5), 74′), Jovovic (6) (Jankovic (6), 65′); Beciraj (4).
Goals: Oxlade-Chamberlain (11′), Kane (18′, 24′, 37′), Rashford (30′), Sofranac OG (66′), Abraham (84′)
Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz
Yellow Cards: Vesovic (33′), Rashford (33′)
Red Cards: N/A
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