England victorious again with a Harry Kane hat-trick
England played Bulgaria this Saturday at Wembley in the Euro 2020 qualifiers. England were knocked off top spot in Group A earlier in the afternoon and after a 4-0 win, have secured their place back at the top of the group A. The game also did not have any VAR, just goal-line technology.
Bulgaria started playing with a back five instead of the expected back four, making their intentions very clear. 5-4-1 was their formation. This proved to be quite a struggle for England at the beginning as they could not get through the back five. The team had to be patient and wait for a break to try and get the scoring underway.
England opened up the scoring in the 23rd minute after a mistake from the keeper, Iliev, saw Kane slot it in the back of the net. The keeper played it short to his defenders, where Sterling stole the ball and passed it through to Kane, who made it 1-0. This was very hapless defending from Bulgaria in their own 18-yard box.
Nothing else really happened in the first half, as England dominated and kept pressing and putting pressure on Bulgaria, trying to wear down their solid five-man defence.
Three minutes into the second half, Marcus Rashford went down in the box and a penalty was given. Harry Kane took the penalty, looked very calm and sent the keeper the wrong way, as he slotted the ball into the top right corner and doubled the lead after a slow start to the second half.
In the 54th minute, Raheem Sterling made it 3 after having a stunning performance all game. Rashford made a run down the pitch, as he started better this half, passed through to Kane in the box who managed to slip the ball through to Sterling who just slotted it easily into the back of the net. Bad defending from Bulgaria meant that England had pretty much secured the three points here.
A lot of substitutions saw Mason Mount make his senior England debut, Jaden Sancho come on and an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain return after 18 months out due to injury. The substitutes really livened things up more and England were in definite control.
England got a second penalty in the 72nd minute as Dimitrov fouled Kane. Kane beat the keeper with an excellent penalty, to the top right corner as his powerful strikes gave him his second England hatrick and allowed England to lead 4-0. Harry Kane has now scored 8 penalties in a row for his country.
England managed to hold on to their dominance and the game finished 4-0, Taking them back to the top of the Group A table. They have had lots of big wins in the qualifiers, 5-0, 5-1 and now 4-0!
England face Kosovo on Tuesday night, in a clash of Group A's top two. Kosovo are unbeaten in 15 games.