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Kane sends England to World Cup with 1-0 win over Slovenia

Kane sends England to World Cup with 1-0 win over Slovenia

Had they won this game, Lithuania would have gone into the final game with a chance at a respectable fourth place finish.

Harry Kane's 94th-minute victor did little to mask what had been a drab tie and Southgate admits that while he is keen to rotate his team, he is also thinking about coming home with three points. The defender was asked ahead of tonight's home clash with Slovenia about the possibility of the national team being as courageous as City were at the weekend.

Home friendlies against Germany and Brazil next month will give a good indication of just how much work is needed over the next seven months for England, a constant work in progress. A lot of good teams won't go to that World Cup, so we are pleased but still know there is room for improvement.

According to The Mirror, Gareth Southgate is a big fan of the midfielder and thinks that he can be the key to England scoring more goals.

Hart has been England's first-choice goalkeeper under Gareth Southgate, but with England now qualified for the World Cup, Butland has been handed the shirt for the last match of the campaign. This creates meaning for the players starting this game, in spite of the perfunctory nature of the game.

England will have the returning Dele Alli, who has served his one-match ban from Federation Internationale de Football Association, following his middle finger-gesture versus Slovakia.

"It [criticism of Hart] comes with the scrutiny of playing for England". Mikuckis will have a real challenge on his hands.

While commenting on the performances of Hart, Pearce said, "I spoke to Joe a while back and I said to him that at the Euros last summer, the ball went into the back of the net against Iceland and he didn't get up and berate his back line". With Adam Lallana still out of contention, England are short of innovative forward play.

England's performance on Thursday was disjointed, lacklustre and lacked any semblance of creativity - and that's being kind.

Atletico Madrid's Oblak made good saves from Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling and Rashford before halftime. Behind them in the pecking order are Jake Livermore and Harry Winks.

There's simply no greater honour in the professional game than captaining your country, and Kane certainly understands the magnitude of the responsibility he finds on his shoulders on the eve of England's first tie with Slovenia at Wembley. The latter group may have underachieved, but their quality was never in doubt. But now, the likes of Antonio Conte, Mauricio Pochettino and Arsene Wenger are using it regularly at the club level.

Worldwide friendlies are hardly a typical source of excitement, but noncompetitive matches have produced the most intriguing moments of Southgate's leadership so far.


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