England vs Ukraine result, highlights as Kane and Saka score in Euro 2024 qualifier at Wembley

WEMBLEY STADIUM, LONDON — England made it two wins from two in their opening Euro 2024 qualifiers as Harry Kane extended the gap atop his country’s leading goalscorer charts with another strike at Wembley in a 2-0 win over Ukraine.

Having scored three days ago in the 2-1 win over Italy to eclipse Wayne Rooney’s record of 53 goals, it seemed only right that upon his hero’s return back at Wembley he extended that to go two clear, while Bukayo Saka also found the net for the hosts.

It was fitting that Kane and Saka would provide the much needed spark England craved in the first half with the Arsenal winger providing the assist to his Tottenham rival on 37 minutes with a delicious cross into the back post which the striker gladly converted on the volley.

Three minutes later Saka showed goalscoring quality of his own, picking up the ball on the right side of the box before turning his man and curling a perfectly placed shot with his left foot into the top left corner.

Until then, England had been knocking on the door with a few half chances, but two moments of magic from a player of Saka’s quality proved decisive as Ukraine headed into the break without having a shot on target and plenty of work to do.

That stat didn’t change for Ukraine in the second half as England continued to find an extra gear before the final half an hour felt rather flat from both sides, in truth.

James Maddison impressed on only his second England appearance while Ivan Toney made his long-awaited debut off the bench in the final 10 minutes, leaving Southgate with plenty of positives to take as they remain top of Group C in their quest for a place at next summer’s tournament in Germany.

England’s next match comes against Malta on June 16 before they host North Macedonia at Wembley three days later.

Harry Kane England goals record

Three days ago Kane became England’s all-time leading scorer with his penalty against Italy the 54th for his country. Today, he made that 55 and easily could have had more having missed a few easy chances in the first half.

But in reality, he’s contributed heavily in qualification to major tournaments, being involved in 43 goals in just 29 appearances (34 goals, 9 assists). He is scoring or assisting on average every 50 minutes in these games and has found the net in 19 of his last 20 qualifying appearances, scoring 28 times in those matches.

While the debate will long go on about whether a player of his calibre should stay at Tottenham or leave and fight for trophies elsewhere, there can be no debate about his national ambition with England. Wayne Rooney will have known his record wouldn’t have stood for long by the time he hung up his boots in 2018 and at the rate Kane is playing it’s hard to see his new record being beaten any time soon, if ever, if he carries on like this.

A 29-year-old at the peak of his game will be licking his lips at the prospect of playing the likes of Malta and North Macedonia in qualifying and as long as England keep progressing and qualifying for every major tournament available, you feel Kane really will make a mockery of all those strikers who paved the way with their goals before him.

What has changed with Bukayo Saka?

Still only 21 years of age, it feels like we’ve been talking about Saka’s talent for years and years. We have. Noises have always been made from the Arsenal academy from which he’s honed his skills at ever since he made his first-team debut for the club in 2018 about his potential.

But we’re now talking about him as Arsenal’s star man, the player who is on the brink of leading them to a first title since 2004, the player who will be a key man for Southgate going forward and the years beyond with his national team. Piers Morgan described him as “the most exciting player since Gazza [Paul Gascgoine]” following his display against Ukraine.

He was kicked and fouled plenty in the opening half hour but continued to not let that affect him, nor change his game, as he put in crosses for his teammates with Kane eventually converting the perfect one he longed for on 37 minutes. Yet the best was still to come as three minutes later he produced a piece of individual brilliance with a spectacular curled effort that felt like the Wembley crowd collectively go: “Wow!”

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button