- goal scored by H. Winks
- goal scored by H. Kane
- goal scored by M. Rashford
- goal scored by M. Mount
goal scored by
- H. Winks goal scored by
- H. Kane goal scored by
- M. Rashford goal scored by
- M. Mount
A warm welcome
England manager Gareth Southgate has been touched by the squad's welcome to Pristina, but knows it will be tough on the pitch...
England's warm welcome
England boss Gareth Southgate has spoken of the warm reception the Three Lions have had since their arrival in Kosovo ahead of Sunday’s game in Pristina.
The squad arrived in the nation’s capital on Saturday evening for their final UEFA EURO 2020 qualifier, and were greeted by British troops at the airport and then by local fans en route to their base for the trip.
“We’ve had an incredible welcome on the way from the airport from the local people and also it was lovely to see some of our troops who came out to see us at the airport as well,” revealed Southgate.
“It’s a reminder of some people who represent our country in an incredible way.
“I think that tomorrow is a celebration for Kosovo. It’s a shame that they’re not able to qualify from tomorrow’s game.
“But I know that for the players some of the pressure is off so I think they’ll put on a really strong performance with a chance to create a historic result.
“And we’re very confident that we’re going to receive – as we have already – a brilliant welcome, but they’ll want to beat us and the atmosphere will be one that…during the game, I’m sure they’ll be fully behind their own team.”
Despite having already qualified for next summer’s Finals, Southgate wants to ensure his team finish on a high with another three points and continuing what’s already been an impressive campaign.
“In football terms, obviously we’ve now qualified and we still have a desire to win the game,” he added.
“The seeding for the finals could be important but what’s pleased me most, looking back, is that we’ve qualified comfortably and played some incredible attacking football.
“People will obviously look at the quality of some of the opponents but I think over the years, we’ve had players where the shirt has hung heavy and the performances have reflected that.
“We put out a team the other day with an average age of 23, the youngest team for 60 years, with young players coming in, loving playing for England, really playing with freedom, really playing with expression and thinking about what’s possible on the field rather than worrying about losing the game or what will happen in those sorts of games or fixtures.
“So, for me, that’s a massive shift from when I joined the FA in 2013 to work with the U21s so that’s been a real highlight for me.”
Euro Qualifying head-to-head
England complete their European Qualifiers in style in Pristina to top Group A
England rounded off their UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying campaign with another eye-catching result, as they saw off Kosovo in Pristina to complete a new record for themselves.
Their 4-0 win in their final group match saw them clock up a total of 37 goals from their eight Group A games, a new goalscoring record for the Three Lions in a qualifying campaign.
And at the forefront of that has been captain Harry Kane, who netted in the second half here to make it 12 goals from eight for him as well as a goal in every game.
It was a big night in Kosovo too, with the match being the first between the two nations in Pristina, as well as the history between the nations during the troubles in the nation during the 1990s, there was a warm welcome for England’s players and fans from the locals.
There was little between the teams before England took the lead just after the half-hour mark too, as Winks ghosted forward from midfield to open the scoring.
Declan Rice threaded a pass to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and he had the vision to pick out the Spurs man, who made no mistake by slotting home into the bottom corner to register his first senior goal.
Prior to that, Raheem Sterling had come closest to opening the scoring when he stung the hands of Arijanet Muric, after Ben Chilwell and Harry Kane had combined to set him up.
But just as they had done at St. Mary’s two months previously, Kosovo certainly had their moments and caused England a few worrying moments.
When Bersant Celina’s corner was only half-cleared as far as Valon Berisha, his left-footed shot was diverted inches wide by Amir Rrahmani.
And the defender should’ve done even better moments later when Berisha’s corner picked him out at the far post but he mis-headed his effort wide of the post.
It was England who came close to doubling their advantage, when Chilwell’s shot was saved by Muric. The ball came out to Marcus Rashford on the by-line, from where the sub set up Kane for a shot which hit the inside of the post.
The skipper soon had a goal to his name though, as he calmly converted at the far post after Sterling’s low cross from the right looped towards him after a diverting off a Kosovan defender.
Rashford then finished confidently to make it 3-0 shortly after that, latching onto Sterling’s inch-perfect pass to sweep home his tenth goal for the Three Lions.
There was even time for Southgate to award an England debut to Fikayo Tomori, with the Chelsea defender becoming Three Lion number 1246.
The scoring was completed in stoppage time with another first, as Mason Mount stroked home his maiden senior goal after Kane had won possession after Ibrahim Dresevic on the edge of the area.
The scoreline perhaps flattered England on this occasion, but Gareth Southgate will take plenty of positives into 2020 as attention now turns to next summer.
England: 1 Nick Pope, 2 Trent Alexander-Arnold, 3 Ben Chilwell, 4 Declan Rice, 5 Harry Maguire, 6 Tyrone Mings, 7 Raheem Sterling, 8 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 9 Harry Kane (C), 10 Harry Winks, 11 Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Substitutes: 20 Marcus Rashford for Hudson-Odoi 59, 17 Mason Mount for Oxlade-Chamberlain 73, 16 Fikayo Tomori for Alexander-Arnold 84
Substitutes not used: 12 Kieran Trippier, 13 Jordaon Pickford, 14 Danny Rose, 15 John Stones, , 18 James Maddison, 19 Jadon Sancho, 21 Callum Wilson, 22 Tammy Abraham, 23 Dean Henderson.
Head coach: Gareth Southgate
Goals: Harry Winks 32, Harry Kane 79, Marcus Rashford 83, Mason Mount 90+1