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Harry Kane and able!

Updated on: 25 March,2023 07:53 AM IST  |  Naples

Skipper and striker Harry Kane breaks England’s all-time scoring record with penalty conversion in 2-1 defeat of champions Italy; insists this means everything to him

Harry Kane and able!

England's forward Harry Kane during the UEFA Euro 2024 Group C qualification match between Italy and England at the Diego-Maradona stadium in Naples. Pic/AFP

Harry Kane broke England’s all-time scoring record with his 54th international goal in Thursday’s tight 2-1 win against Italy which kicked off his team’s Euro 24 qualifying campaign in positive style.

Gareth Southgate’s side were already a goal ahead through Declan Rice when captain Kane stroked home a 44th-minute penalty to overtake Wayne Rooney and help England to a handy Group ‘C’ win in Naples over the European champions. 

“It means everything. I was so excited to put the England shirt on and get back out and get the campaign started for next year’s Euros,” said Kane.

Retegui scores on debut

Ten minutes after the break Argentine-born striker Mateo Retegui netted for the Italians first on debut for his new country, but couldn’t do more despite late pressure and Luke Shaw being sent off.

Kane had been locked with Rooney on 53 goals for his national team after missing a penalty in England’s World Cup quarter-final defeat by France in December. However, he made no mistake from the spot this time at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona after VAR penalised Giovanni Di Lorenzo for handball.

Southgate said on Wednesday that England needed to start beating the big teams if they’re to end a near six-decade major tournament drought and beating Italy away for the first time since 1961 is good.

For Italy it was a frustrating first-half. A spirited effort after the break in which they restricted England to very little showed why Roberto Mancini’s side should be one of the two teams which qualifies from a five-team group that also features Ukraine, North Macedonia and Malta. 

“I saw a proper team out there in the second half and that bodes well for the future. We might be starting on the wrong foot, but hope it ends up being a smoother ride,” said Mancini. 

Also read: Harry Kane becomes Tottenham's joint-leading scorer with winner

England seemed more dangerous as Bukayo Saka had the game’s first shot on target in the eighth minute. Four minutes later Jude Bellingham stung Gianluigi Donnarumma’s fingers with a powerful shot following great work from Jack Grealish and Kane, and from the subsequent corner England scored. The ball fell to Kane whose shot was blocked, but fell to Rice, who scored.

England continued to push forward after going ahead and Kalvin Phillips went closest to doubling their lead in the 32nd minute with a low drive until Di Lorenzo handed Kane the chance to make history. The game seemed to be heading for an easy England win, but Retegui pulled one back with a smart low finish after a fine pass by Lorenzo Pellegrini. 

Huge crowd

The 45,000 crowd roared on Italy after Shaw as sent off after two quick-fire yellow cards, the second for chopping down Retegui to stop an attack. But Italy couldn’t make it count and lost their a home match in Euro qualifying for the first time 1999.

Record number of goals for England’s Harry Kane

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