Published 02 September 2021 4 min read
England Men's Senior Team

Kane: 'It couldn't have gone better'

Written by:

Frank Smith

Harry Kane made it 39 goals in 62 England matches during the 4-0 win over Hungary

Harry Kane believes England’s 4-0 victory over Hungary ‘couldn’t have gone better’ as the Three Lions extended their lead at the top of their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying group to five points.

After a cagey opening 45 minutes, England scored four second-half goals at the Puskas Arena in Budapest and in truth it could have been even more.

Raheem Sterling made it ten goals in his last 11 qualifying games to break the deadlock on 55 minutes, before Kane found the net for the 23rd time in his previous 22 qualifiers soon after.

Harry Maguire’s header on 69 minutes gave the Three Lions a comfortable advantage and Declan Rice rounded off a memorable night with his second senior goal for his country.

Kane said: “It is a fantastic result as it’s a really tough place to come. We knew it was going to be a difficult game and such a big game in the group as well. 

“We knew if we could get the win here today it would put us in a great position and almost give us one foot in the World Cup. 

“It couldn’t have gone better, 4-0 away from home. It is a great night for us.”

Harry Kane carried on his impressive England record against Hungary

England enjoyed 69 per cent possession in the first half but whilst the Three Lions had four shots to Hungary’s one in the opening 45 minutes, none of them were on target, as often the final ball ended up falling just short.

But it was a totally different story in the second period, as England showed their ruthless streak.

The Three Lions had a great chance to open the scoring five minutes after the restart when Kyle Walker’s lovely through ball released Kane but his effort was too close to the goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi and was easily saved.

They didn’t have to wait long for the first goal though. Rice won the ball back in midfield and released Jack Grealish. His lay-off to Mason Mount resulted in a pull-back and Sterling’s right-footed shot from eight yards nestled in the bottom corner. 

The lead was then doubled eight minutes later and once again it was Mount and Sterling who were at the heart of it. Kalvin Phillips’ interception made its way to Mount, who then flicked the ball into the path of Sterling and his deflected low drive into the box was headed in by Kane.

And moments after Kane had another effort saved, it was 3-0. Luke Shaw’s out-swinging corner was headed goalwards by Maguire and the power was too much for Gulacsi.

The result could have been even more convincing, as Sterling and Kane both had one-on-one efforts saved by RB Leipzig’s Gulacsi.

And the fourth goal finally came on 87 minutes when Grealish laid the ball off to Rice on the edge of the area and his low shot squirmed through the arms of the goalkeeper.

When asked what had been said at half-time to lead to the improved attacking performance in the second period, Kane replied: “We said just keep moving the ball quick. The width was key, getting it out wide, opening the gaps and exploiting them. 

“They got tired in the second half and we were able to capitalise on that and we took our chances when we needed to.”

England will now welcome Andorra to Wembley on Sunday, with tickets currently on general sale, before September’s 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying triple header ends with another trip on Wednesday night, this time to Poland’s Stadion Narodowy.

Poland won 4-1 against Albania tonight but like Hungary, currently find themselves five points below Southgate’s men, who top the Group I with 12 out of 12.

Kane said: “Two more big games [coming up]. At home to Andorra we’re obviously favourites to win but we still have to get it right mentally. 

“Poland away will be another tough game like tonight. Obviously they’ve dropped a few more points in the group so they’re not as close to us but if we can come away with two more wins, we’re pretty much there in terms of qualification.”

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