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Albania 0-2 England: Kane ends drought as Mount seals win in Tirana

H

arry Kane’s first England goal in well over a year helped the Three Lions to a comfortable World Cup qualifying win over Albania in Tirana.

Kane’s flying header broke a solid Albanian resistance shortly before half-time, with Mason Mount securing the three points and a 2-0 win with a cool finish midway through the second half.

Having given chances to several fringe players during the thumping of San Marino in midweek, Gareth Southgate returned to something closer to his first-choice lineup, making six changes, including handing Luke Shaw a first international appearance since 2019.

The playing surface at the Arena Kombëtare had been criticised in the build-up to kick-off and perhaps played some part in a sluggish opening half-hour from the visitors, but predictably it was Kane who eventually found a way through, powering home Shaw’s cross with a terrific diving header.

It was the Tottenham man’s first international goal since November 2019, after a barren 2020 in an England shirt, but he almost had another soon after, sidefooting against the crossbar on the half-volley.

Instead, Kane had to be content with setting up the second goal after the break, with Raheem Sterling’s pressure helping win the ball high up the pitch, before Kane slipped in Mason Mount to lift a cool finish over the ‘keeper.

Next up for Southgate’s men is a meeting with Poland at Wembley, where victory in what will be their final outing before the manager names his squad for this summer’s European Championships would put them firmly in charge of Group I.


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