England captain Harry Kane added to his country’s goal-scoring record with a brace in Tuesday’s 3-1 Euro 2024 qualifying win over Italy.
Seven months after defeating the European champions 2-1 in Naples, when Kane became England’s all-time leading striker, Gareth Southgate’s side were determined to complete their revenge mission beneath the bright lights of Wembley.
With four wins and a draw from their first five Group C fixtures, England simply needed to avoid defeat against Luciano Spalletti’s side to guarantee a place in Germany next year.
Southgate reverted to his best XI following a nervy friendly win over Australia, but an unmarked Gianluca Scamacca met Giovanni Di Lorenzo’s cross and struck the roof of the net from close range, hushed the Wembley fans early on.
The Azzurri’s lead, however, lasted only 17 minutes, as a clever link-up between Kane and the effervescent Jude Bellingham culminated with the latter being hauled down inside the box by Di Lorenzo.
Following a lengthy VAR review, Kane calmly sent Gianluigi Donnarumma the wrong way to bring England level, before Marcus Rashford put the hosts ahead in the 57th minute thanks to individual brilliance from Bellingham.
Twenty minutes after Rashford’s goal, Alessandro Bastoni headed a Marc Guehi clearance into the path of Kane, who proceeded to push the ball past Giorgio Scalvini and finish comfortably when one-on-one with Donnarumma.
Kane’s double on Tuesday evening not only confirmed England’s place in next year’s tournament in Germany, but also become the former Tottenham Hotspur striker England’s all-time leading Wembley scorer.
England captain creates another Record for the Nation
Sir Bobby Charlton managed 23 goals at England’s headquarters throughout his stellar career, but the 30-year-old has left him in his wake with 24 goals at England’s headquarters.
Kane, who now has 61 goals for his country, admitted to Channel 4 after the game that he ‘enjoys’ the individual feats, but that the attention must soon shift to Euro 2024, where England will be seen as one of the favourites to go all the way.
“I enjoy playing at Wembley. I absolutely adore playing for England. “It’s always special to do it here at home,” Kane added. “Performance in front of our fans, wearing the badge, leading the boys out, and, of course, scoring is one of the best feelings ever.”
“I like the records, but we’ll see how far we can go with the next one.” This group wishes to maintain high standards. We’ll have to see how far we can get next summer.”
England are assured to finish first in Group C because to their superior head-to-head results over Ukraine, guaranteeing their position in the pot for December’s group-stage draw.
Southgate’s side finish a successful qualifying campaign next month, playing Malta at Wembley on November 17 before traveling to Skopje to face the Lynxes on November 20.