London: England’s serene progress towards Euro 2020 continued as skipper Harry Kane grabbed a hat-trick in a 4-0 demolition of Bulgaria in a Group A game at the Wembley Stadium here Saturday.
Harry Kane opened the scoring after 24 minutes and struck home two penalties after the break as well as providing the assist for Raheem Sterling to get on the scoresheet.
Gareth Southgate’s England side have now scored 14 goals in their opening three Group A games and lead the table with nine points from Kosovo (eight points) who beat the Czech Republic 2-1 in another game played earlier in the day.
England host Kosovo for the first time on Tuesday when another victory will leave them looking virtually assured of reaching next year’s tournament that culminates on home soil.
It was not a perfect display by England with Bulgaria having three good chances, one when the score was 0-0, but England proved far too strong as they left the visitors languishing at the bottom of the group with two points from five games.
Harry Kane’s second hat-trick for England, following the one he scored against Panama at last year’s World Cup, took his tally to 25 goals in 40 appearances — eight of which have arrived from the penalty spot.
“Overall, I would say that it was a satisfying performance,” Gareth Southgate said after the game. “We started slowly but as the game progressed we stamped our authority over it.”
Harry Kane’s hat-trick took him past Sir Geoff Hurst and Stan Mortenson on the England goal-scoring chart. At 26 years old, he has Bryan Robson, David Platt, Frank Lampard, Alan Shearer, Nat Lofthouse and Tom Finney is his sights. He could well be past them by the time Euro 2020 is over and emerge as the man for England with the highest number of goals.
But then individual records don’t matter for Kane. Winning trophies does. “It’s great to get goals and individual stuff but the most important thing is winning team trophies and obviously England haven’t done that for a long time now,” said Kane after the game. “All the boys want to win tournaments but we’ve haven’t done so for the last 10, 15, 20 years and longer. The time has come to change that,” added the striker.