England captain Harry Kane says their fighting 3-3 draw against Germany is crucial as they go into the FIFA World Cup despite a six-game winless run
England captain and striker Harry Kane celebrates scoring his team’s third goal during the Nations League match against Germany. Pic/AFP
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 were 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 after Maguire had gifted possession to Jamal Musiala and then chopped down the Bayern midfielder.
Two goals in three minutes
Kai Havertz then curled brilliantly into the top corner after Maguire was dispossed in the German half. England had failed to score from open play in any of their opening five games in Group A3. But two goals in three minutes completely changed the atmosphere around Wembley and the scrutiny on Southgate’s position heading to Qatar.
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.
“We’ve upped our game as we’ve gone along in the last two major tournaments. “We dust ourselves down, we know we have to improve but there isn’t that much time now with England before that first game. We’ll go away with our clubs and hopefully everyone goes away fit, strong and is ready to come back in November.”
Relief for Southgate
Despite the disappointment of a late equaliser, there was relief for Southgate that England’s attack finally came to life after accusations that his conservative tactics were to blame for a lack of goals. “The whole experience has been what we needed,” said Southgate, who had been booed by England fans after a 1-0 defeat to Italy on Friday. “The players reacted in the right way—we showed character.”
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