Sport Soccer

Monday 11 December 2017

Harry Kane focus

England's Harry Kane scored an injury-time winner against Slovenia
England's Harry Kane scored an injury-time winner against Slovenia

Harry Kane rescued England by scoring a stoppage-time winner against Slovenia as Gareth Southgate's men stumbled to qualification for next summer's World Cup.

Kane led England out as captain at Wembley, but was part of a limp performance from the hosts.

However, the 24-year-old produced the goods again, scoring his 14th goal in nine games for club and country, to snatch a 1-0 win and spare England's blushes.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a closer look at Kane's performance.

ROLE

Kane started as the focal point of a front three, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain right, Marcus Rashford left and Raheem Sterling just behind. Southgate's plan looked to be to keep Kane as close to goal as possible, but he was starved of service and increasingly came deeper to look for the ball.

GOAL THREAT

An early shot from range brought the first cheer from the crowd before Kane claimed a free-kick 30 yards out, but drove it into the wall. It was not until just past the hour mark that Kane had another sight of goal, but a late touch off the head of Miha Mevlja was enough to cause him to miscontrol. In a better spell for England, Kane then fired a loose ball wide of the far post while a late run promised much, but Kane's finish deflected kindly into the hands of Jan Oblak. That looked to be the end of it until Kyle Walker sent in a dipping cross in stoppage-time and Kane darted across the front post and poked the ball over the line.

CONTRIBUTION

Kane often found himself isolated as England lacked fluency in the final third and too often carelessly conceded possession in the build-up. Kane pulled deeper and wider to see more of the ball, but struggled to make an impact with his crosses. Otherwise the 24-year-old's contribution was relatively little until his decisive intervention at the death.

OVERALL

At the full-time whistle, Kane raised his arms to the sky, seemingly more in relief than jubilation. England have qualified for the World Cup, but they needed their in-form skipper to pull them through. It may well be the case again in Russia.

Press Association

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