Sunday, 4 December, 2022

England in ‘good place’ for World Cup, says Kane

England in ‘good place’ for World Cup, says Kane
England striker Harry Kane celebrates scoring the team’s third goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Nations League match against Germany at Wembley Stadium in London on Monday. –AFP PHOTO

England captain Harry Kane said the Three Lions are in a good place heading into the World Cup after a 3-3 draw with Germany on Monday despite going to Qatar on a six-game winless run.

Kane looked to have completed a famous fightback for Gareth Southgate's men as they came from 2-0 down to lead 3-2 at Wembley before Kai Havertz salvaged a point for the visitors.

"The mentality and fight of the team was shown out there today," said Kane, who moved to within two goals of matching Wayne Rooney's record of 53 goals for England.

"We didn't get the win but we can be proud of what we did and it puts us in a good place ahead of the World Cup."

Ilkay Gundogan slotted home the opener from the penalty spot. Havertz then curled brilliantly into the top corner after Maguire was dispossed in the German half.

But two goals in three minutes completely changed the atmosphere around Wembley and the scrutiny on Southgate's position heading to Qatar.

Luke Shaw started the fightback by volleying in at the back post.

Moments later, two of Southgate's substitutes combined to deadly effect as Bukayo Saka set up Mason Mount to curl home.

Kane looked to have completed the turnaround from the penalty spot seven minutes from time after Nico Schlotterbeck's challenge on Jude Bellingham was punished following a VAR review.

Yet, there was more drama to come as Nick Pope spilled Serge Gnabry's shot and Havertz pounced on the rebound to snatch Germany a point.

Despite leading England to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and a first major tournament final for 55 years at Euro 2020, Southgate was under the spotlight after his side were relegated from the top tier of the Nations League with a game to spare.

England had not scored a goal from open play in their opening five games in Group A3, but Kane is confident they will respond to the heightened pressure of a major tournament in two months' time.

"Major football tournament is different to any other football you play for England. The pressure is high and the concentration has to be high and I feel like we respond well to that," he added.