Kane and Saka Lead England to Euro 2024 Qualifier Win against Ukraine at Wembley
The Three Lions earned their second victory in the opening rounds of Euro 2024 qualifiers following a 2-0 triumph over Ukraine courtesy of goals from Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka.
The Tottenham Hotspur striker's efforts extended his lead atop England's all-time leading goalscorer charts, adding to his tally of 53 goals amassed over the years in the Three Lions' colours to surpass that of Wayne Rooney.
Kane's strike on his return to Wembley was his 54th to the country, with Arsenal youngster Saka adding a further one for the hosts.
Kane and Saka proved the ideal combination for England to bring much needed life to the proceedings in the first half, the Arsenal winger providing a delightful delivery to the backpost which Kane volleyed home on 37 minutes. Three minutes later it was Saka who showed what he could do, collecting the ball on the right side of the box and effortlessly curling a left foot shot into the top corner.
England registered a 2-0 win over Ukraine in their Euro 2020 Group C qualifiers on Wednesday, courtesy of two moments of magic from Bukayo Saka.
The Arsenal star opened the scoring in the 40th minute with a sensational curling effort before netting his second of the night 10 minutes later to make it 2-0 to the Three Lions.
Ukraine did manage to pull one back late on when Roman Yaremchuk struck in the 76th minute, however it was not enough to stop Gareth Southgate's side from continuing their unbeaten streak in the qualifiers.
England had been dominant before Saka's opener, with a few half-chances falling their way in the opening exchanges. James Maddison, on only his second England appearance, impressed while Ivan Toney made his long-awaited debut off the bench in the final 10 minutes.
The win means England remain top of Group C in their quest for a place at next summer's tournament in Germany, with their next match coming against Malta on June 16 followed by a clash with North Macedonia at Wembley three days later.
Kane recently became England's all-time top scorer by scoring a penalty against Italy, bringing his tally to 55. He had the opportunity to add to this total, having missed a few easy chances in the first half. But during qualifying matches for major tournaments, he has still made a significant impact, with 43 goals or assists from just 29 appearances (34 goals, 9 assists). This means he scores or assists every 50 minutes, and has scored 28 goals in his last 20 qualifying appearances.
While the discussion around whether a player of his calibre should remain at Tottenham or seek a place at a more successful club will continue, there can be no disputing his national aspirations with England. When Wayne Rooney retired in 2018, he held the country's all-time record for goals scored, however Kane is currently on course to obliterate that record. At 29 and at the peak of his powers, he is likely relishing the chance to face teams like Malta and North Macedonia in qualifying games, and if England continue on the same trajectory, it is fair to say Kane will leave a mark that surpasses all of his predecessors.
Piers Morgan lauded Jack Grealish as "the most exciting player since Gazza [Paul Gascgoine]" following his performance against Ukraine, and if his display is anything to go by, Arsenal and England fans have plenty to look forward to. Despite being kicked and fouled in the opening half hour, Grealish never let it affect him and went on to provide the perfect cross for Harry Kane to convert on the 37th minute. But the best was still to come as he produced an incredible curled effort three minutes later that left the Wembley crowd stunned. Grealish is the star man for Arsenal and is on the brink of guiding them to their first title since 2004, as well as a key man for Southgate's England side for the years ahead.