LONDON – LONDON (AP) – Harry Kane, presented with a golden boot before kick-off, continued for England on Sunday as he scored a record-breaking 55th goal for his country.
The Tottenham striker had already overtaken Wayne Rooney as the Three Lions’ top scorer with his penalty in Thursday’s 2-1 win over Italy in Naples.
Back at Wembley, he had the chance to celebrate with another goal in front of home fans in England’s 2-0 win over Ukraine in EURO qualifiers.
Kane scored in the 37th minute and turned a Bukayo Saka cross into the far post.
Saka scored himself three minutes later, turning on the edge of the box and curling a shot into the top corner.
With that, England effectively secured victory and secured a 100% start to their Euro 2024 qualifiers, which was an impressive response to disappointment at being knocked out in the quarter-finals at last year’s World Cup.
Kane, whose missed penalty cost so much in the 2-1 defeat by France in Qatar, has also proved he is not hungover from one of the most painful moments of his career.
While he’s still waiting to lift his first club or country trophy, the personal honors are progressing.
In February he overtook the late Jimmy Greaves as Tottenham’s all-time top scorer. In international football, he equaled Rooney’s total for England at the World Cup before setting a new record against Italy.
English Football Associated celebrated the achievement ahead of kick-off against Ukraine when their chairman presented a commemorative gold shoe to Kane, Debbie Hewitt. For the match, Kane also wore Nike cleats with a gold Swoosh on the side.
His hunger to continue adding to his record was immediately apparent as he set out in search of more goals
There was an early penalty when Kane slammed into the box and then an unusual aerial shot when he was yards from goal.
However, he didn’t have to wait long for his last goal in England’s colours. He drifted towards the far post and was perfectly placed to turn Saka’s cross into one of the easiest goals he will ever score.
The same cannot be said of Saka’s efforts. First, the Arsenal striker showed his control as he pivoted with the ball at his feet to pass Mykola Matviyenko. He then looked up before selecting the top corner of Anatoliy Trubin’s goal.
Ukraine never looked like they would bounce back after conceding two goals in quick succession. It was still cheered on by around 4,200 guest fans.
The FA had invited more than 1,000 Ukrainian refugees to the match, along with the families hosting them under the UK government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme.
It is estimated that more than 150,000 Ukrainians have arrived in Britain since the war with Russia began last year. Before kick-off, Ukraine fans sang to a rousing rendition of the country’s national anthem, with a corner of Wembley being flooded with the blue and yellow colors of its flag.
Despite being heavily outnumbered in a crowd of around 85,000, the visiting fans made sure to be heard as they chanted and sang for their team.
It was Kane who blew England’s fans off their seats as he keeps setting new standards in front of goal.
James Robson can be found at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson
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