Saturday 21 September 2019

England equal their World Cup goals record in quarter-final win

Dele Alli’s clincher against Sweden was the 11th goal scored by Gareth Southgate’s side in Russia.

Dele Alli, left, took England to 11 World Cup goals with Harry Kane, centre, having led the way (Tim Goode/PA)
Dele Alli, left, took England to 11 World Cup goals with Harry Kane, centre, having led the way (Tim Goode/PA)

By Tom White, Press Association Sport Data Journalist

England’s run to the World Cup semi-finals has seen them equal their best goal tally at the tournament.

Gareth Southgate’s side have found the net 11 times in Russia to match the record set by the victorious 1996 side.

PA Graphics

After beating Tunisia 2-1 and Panama 6-1, Harry Kane and co drew a blank against Belgium in their final group game but have added three more in the knockout stages.

Kane’s penalty against Colombia took England’s tally to nine and goals from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli in Saturday’s quarter-final against Sweden saw them emulate Sir Alf Ramsey’s famous squad.

Captain Kane has scored six goals in the tournament, matching Gary Lineker’s England World Cup record from 1986 and surpassing any of the 1966 squad.

Geoff Hurst, second left, scores the clincher in 1966 for one of only three England World Cup hat-tricks (PA Archive)

Sir Geoff Hurst, the hat-trick hero in that Wembley final against West Germany, finished with four for the tournament while Sir Bobby Charlton and Roger Hunt notched three apiece. Martin Peters scored the other of England’s four in the final.

The 11 goals came in six games on that occasion, with Southgate’s men needing just five and having two left – a semi-final and either a final or third-place play-off – to add to their tally.

The quality of the opposition must of course be considered – Tunisia and especially Panama have shown little defensive resistance – but England are playing with confidence and in Kane, they have one of the world’s best finishers.

Outside of those two tournaments, England’s best tally was eight for the Lineker-led 1990 squad and also in 1954 when Nat Lofthouse struck three times.

The latter free-scoring tournament saw England reach the tally in just three games, aided by an unconventional group stage format in which they drew 3-3 with Belgium, went to extra time and scored another as the game ended as a 4-4 draw.

They also managed seven in both 1986, with Lineker dominating the scoring, and 1998.

Other than Kane, England’s goals this time around have come from John Stones, with a surprise brace against Panama, Jesse Lingard in the same game, Maguire and Alli.

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