Sunday, 25 June, 2017

England draw was one of the "most emotional games ever" for Strachan

Kane's goal maintains England's unbeaten record in the qualifying group and deals a blow to Scotland's World Cup hopes Kane's goal maintains England's unbeaten record in the qualifying group and deals a blow to Scotland's World Cup hopes
Nathaniel Diaz | 20 June, 2017, 01:22

The Scots led 2-1 after two magnificent Leigh Griffiths free-kicks in the last three minutes of normal time followed an opening goal from England substitute Alex Oxlade Chamberlain on 70 minutes.

The 23-year-old was the fifth man to skipper the Three Lions in Southgate's seven matches and rose to the occasion, firing home a late leveller after two stunning Leigh Griffiths free-kicks put Scotland on the brink of a famous win.

But Kane stunned the Tartan Army in the second minute of stoppage time with an equaliser in what was his first game as England captain.

Scotland can still qualify for the World Cup finals in Russian Federation, despite the "bitter disappointment" of conceding a late equaliser to England, according to defender Christophe Berra.

"We knew it was going to be tough away from home, global qualifier, Scotland are doing everything to stay in the World Cup". "It got us back into contention and if we can perform like we did in that match, then we will certainly cause England a few problems".

"It was great for me personally to lead the team out, a very, very proud moment and to get that goal at the end made it even more special", said the striker.

Julian Brandt added the sixth with a diving header on 72 minutes before Wagner wrapped up his hat trick with five minutes to play.

"You have short-term objectives in winning individual games but in the background a lot of the work we're doing is to start to prepare us for the finals".

Griffiths, 26, had never previously scored for Scotland and his goals drew rich praise from manager Gordon Strachan after a result that kept Scotland in fourth place in the pool.

A sluggish first half saw Scotland lying deep and frustrating England, who looked rusty after going three weeks without any Premier League action.

"First and foremost they were definitely great free-kicks, "he said".

The draw leaves England three points clear at the top of Group F and still on course to reach the finals in Russian Federation next year, while Scotland sit in fourth spot three points behind second-placed Slovenia.

"But one lapse of concentration has cost us in the end and instead of getting three points we got one".

England manager Gareth Southgate insists England's injury-time equaliser against Scotland is a "big moment" for the team, as they finally proved they have character.

England's first opportunity came in the 18th minute when Harry Kane brought the ball down on the right side of the area, cut inside Kieran Tierney and hit a left foot strike which was always rising as it cleared Craig Gordon's goal.

"I think it's a huge moment for the team", said Southgate, who took his squad to a military training camp on a team-building exercise last week.

"But the second one we had the ball on the counter and we've lost it and we weren't set up to defend".

"It was important to us to keep that unbeaten record going", admitted Kane.

"Obviously I do not know what the gaffer's feeling is on it".

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