Captain Kane delivers for England on big stage

25 June, 2018, 05:40 | Author: Isabel Grant
  • Harry Kane

Former England worldwide Gary Neville has lavished praise on striker Harry Kane after his hat-trick in the World Cup on Sunday.

The Tottenham striker bagged his third after a 61st minute shot by Ruben Loftus-Cheek hit his foot and bounced over Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.

England and Belgium are level on points, goals scored and goals conceded, with the Three Lions top of the group by virtue of having picked up fewer bookings than the Red Devils.

Kane is now one goal ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku in the battle to be crowned top scorer. "We wouldn't swap him for anyone in the tournament in terms of number nines".

With Kane still only 24, the 6ft 2inch striker can get even better and boasts all the ingredients needed to go on and become the world's best striker and a potential Balon d'Or victor.

In two games, he has scored all five of his shots.

Manager Gareth Southgate has said England will not play for second place in Group G, even though it would nearly certainly put them in the easier half of the draw.

More news: Andreas Granqvist's strike gets Sweden off to a flyer, watch video

The winners of the meeting in Kaliningrad are guaranteed to top the group, but if the match finishes as a draw, the places will be decided first on fair play. With the system we play, I thrive in that role and it's great to be around the lads and there's a great team spirit.

"I'm happy with how I played".

For England fans, the pain of losing to Iceland in the 2016 European Championships and a first-round exit without a win at the 2014 World Cup, was finally slipping away. "It's not every time you go through after two games, so we're happy with that".

England and Belgium go into their Group G game on Thursday with identical records, meaning that fair play points could decide who is the victor of the group.

"I think it's important to keep momentum going and we'll do everything we can to prepare right for the next game and recover well".

"To score my first goals for England was something special, especially at a World Cup", Stones said.

"We're a team who want to play and you see that on the pitch from the back to the front. They are architecturally attractive", Southgate said.

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