England beat Kosovo 5-3 in a thrilling game at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton on Tuesday, September 10th. The win keeps up their 100% record in the Euro 2020 qualifiers, and they added to their incredible goal scoring record, having now scored 19 goals in four games.
The Kosovans took a shock lead just 35 seconds into the game. Michael Keane gave the ball away to Vedat Muriqi, who slipped it through to Valon Berisha to slot into the net.
But Keane made amends for his mistake in the seventh minute after getting an assist for the equaliser. Ross Barkley’s corner was headed across goal by the Everton defender for Raheem Sterling to nod into the back of the net.
England went ahead in the 18th minute. Sterling picked up the ball in the middle of the park and ran at Kosovo’s defence before finding Harry Kane, who fired through the legs of the goalkeeper to put the Three Lions ahead.
They went three up at the half hour mark when Mergim Vojvoda inadvertently turned Jadon Sancho’s low cross into the back of his own team’s net. A counter attack led to a fourth soon after as Sterling picked out Sancho, who drove the ball into the corner for his first England goal.
The 19-year-old scored his second goal for his country moments later. Sterling ran into the Kosovo box and squared the ball for the teenage star to tap into the net for his side’s fifth. As the half-time whistle blew, England were up 5-1, with Sterling scoring one and having a hat-trick of assists.
Kosovo pulled a goal back early in the second half. Muriqi’s cross found Berisha, who curled a strike into the top corner from inside the area. Minutes later, the visitors were given a penalty as Harry Maguire brought down Muriqi in the box.
The Fenerbahçe striker who won the penalty stepped up and struck past goalkeeper Jordan Pickford to give his side hope of a comeback. But right after the hour mark, England were given a penalty of their own after Barkley was brought down in the area. Kane took the penalty, which was saved by goalkeeper Arijanet Muric, as the score remained 5-3.
England held out for the victory to make it four wins from four games in the European Championship qualifiers.
England manager Gareth Southgate was pleased with his attacking display but warned they must cut out the defensive mistakes, AFP reported. "A bizarre game," said Southgate. "There were obvious poor errors for goals, but I'm really pleased with the composure we showed."
"We had devastating attacking play throughout, and we used the ball well. The outstanding parts of our play were obvious. The errors were obvious," he added.