Kane, Ron do the 'trick
England striker nets thrice as Three Lions hammer Montenegro 7-0 to qualify; Portugal's star forward also scores treble in team's 6-0 rout of Lithuania
London: Harry Kane's first half hat-trick secured England's qualification for Euro 2020 in style with a 7-0 thrashing of Montenegro in their 1,000th match. While Cristiano Ronaldo scored his ninth international hat-trick as Portugal moved to the brink of qualifying with a 6-0 thrashing of Lithuania in Faro on Thursday. Even without Raheem Sterling, who was dropped by Gareth Southgate earlier in the week after a physical altercation with teammate Joe Gomez, England displayed the firepower that will make them one of the favourites for next year's European Championship.
"In the past we have maybe struggled against lower ranked teams who defend in numbers, but we have players who can open those teams up and a style of play that can do that," said Southgate. "We have qualified and done it clinically," he added. Kane moved into sixth in the all-time list of England goalscorers by taking his tally for the qualifying campaign to 11 in seven games. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Marcus Rashford were also on target before half-time and Aleksandar Sofranac's own goal and Tammy Abraham's first at international level rounded off the scoring as Southgate's men sealed top spot in Group A.
Portugal made to wait
Meanwhile, the reigning European champions were made to wait for qualification however as Serbia battled to a 3-2 win over Luxembourg in the other game in Group B. Portugal sit second in the standings behind Ukraine, who have already qualified, and one point clear of Serbia, but can secure their spot at next year's finals with victory in Luxembourg on Sunday.
Ronaldo has now scored 98 international goals and will be hoping to become the second-ever player to reach 100 this weekend. Iranian great Ali Daei holds the all-time record with 109 international strikes. Ronaldo got Portugal underway with a seventh-minute penalty, before adding a fantastic second midway through the first half with a curling effort into the top corner. Benfica midfielder Pizzi drilled in a fine third. Goals from Goncalo Paciencia and Bernardo Silva made it five, and later Ronaldo completed the 55th treble of his career.
No. of international goals scored by Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo
No. of hat-tricks scored by Portugal's star striker Cristiano Ronaldo
No. of hat-tricks England captain Harry Kane has scored
This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe