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Gareth Southgate: A top-level finish

Updated on: 28 March,2023 07:42 AM IST  |  London
AFP |

England boss Gareth Southgate all praise for young forward Bukayo Saka’s stunner in 2-0 win over Ukraine at Wembley; calls his mentality outstanding

Gareth Southgate: A top-level finish

England’s Bukayo Saka (centre) scores against Ukraine at Wembley on Sunday. Pic/Getty Images


Gareth Southgate hailed “ruthless” Bukayo Saka as the England forward’s breathtaking goal inspired a 2-0 win against Ukraine that maintained his side’s perfect start to their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign on Sunday. 


Southgate’s team followed an impressive victory against Italy in their Group C opener with another composed display highlighted by Saka’s brilliance and the latest display of Harry Kane’s predatory instincts. 


Gareth SouthgateGareth Southgate


Skipper Kane strikes again

It was Saka’s pin-point cross that allowed Kane to give England the lead in the first half as the Three Lions captain extended his record tally for his country. Surrounded by his wife and children, Harry Kane was presented with a golden boot before kick-off, but quickly got back down to business with goal number 55. Kane had been more instrumental than most in England’s progress to major tournaments in his career, scoring 34 times in just 29 qualifying group matches. Aged 29, Kane is at his peak, while the 21-year-old Saka is only just starting to explore the vast depths of his potential, as he showed with his superb long-range goal. 

“Once he receives inside and turns you know there’s a chance that might happen. It’s a top-level finish,” Southgate said. 

Also read: Harry Kane breaks Wayne Rooney''s England scoring record with goal No. 54

“That’s really the ruthless part he’s added to his game in the last 18 months. There were times where you weren’t certain he was going to finish, and now you’ve got real confidence when he’s through on goal. Everyone can see technical quality. It is the mentality that is the outstanding part.”

Ukraine coach grateful 

Ukraine interim head coach Ruslan Rotan said the “incredible” Wembley atmosphere during their 0-2 defeat against England on Sunday would inspire the team as they battle to qualify for Euro 2024. 

“I want to thank all the Ukrainian supporters for their incredible signals to the team, the incredible wave of support the Ukrainian team felt every minute of the game,” said the caretaker manager. 

“I’m also grateful for the support of the England fans because it was an atmosphere like no other international game I have ever experienced first hand,” he added.

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