Kane’s ruthlessness missed against San Marino despite big England win


ow Harry Kane must have been desperate to get out there.

And how different this match might have been if England’s captain and greatest goal threat had led the line against such meek opposition as San Marino.

The Three Lions won 5-0, but they missed the clinical finishing of Kane to ensure the scoreline reflected their dominance.

It is hard to imagine goalkeeper Elia Benedettini enjoying such a night out if England’s attack had displayed anything like the cutting edge they will require against better opponents than the lowest-ranked nation in world football.

Benedettini had a personal duel with Jesse Lingard but, in truth, he was aided by the on-loan West Ham forward’s wayward finishing.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin got the job any English striker would have dreamed of by leading the line from the start and walked away with two goals, but he will be left ruing the chances that got away.

Ollie Watkins stepped off the bench to grab a debut goal, with a fine finish to raise the question about the damage he might have done from the off.

The excellent James Ward-Prowse had opened the scoring and captain Raheem Sterling was also on the scoresheet with an effort that deflected off Dante Rossi.

These games can be thankless tasks. Of course victory was never in doubt. Of course San Marino were virtual bystanders. That is why scrutiny is heightened.

These are the games where England need to fully assert their dominance. And even a 5-0 scoreline leaves you wanting more.

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