England and Germany closed the book on another UEFA Nations League cycle in scintillating fashion after the old rivals battled to a 3-3 draw at Wembley earlier this evening on a night that both countries wanted to forget recent frustrations on the national stage.
Germany fell to a 1-0 defeat against Hungary on Thursday that stripped them of a chance to top the group in what was their first loss since Hansi Flick took the Nationalmannschaft reins from Joachim Löw, while England suffered relegation to Nations League B after their loss to Italy in Milan on the same night.
But Harry Kane and the Three Lions battled back from a two-goal deficit in front of home support in the English capital after going 2-0 down on the back of goals from Ilkay Güngogan and Kai Havertz, with the Tottenham and national star slamming home his effort from the spot past Marc-André ter Stegen to temporarily give England the lead in the 83rd minute.
Though Havertz would complete his brace four minutes later, Kane’s goal - his second goal in group play with both coming from the penalty spot - equaled a 110-year-old record and became the first player since Hungary’s Imre Schlosser to score in four consecutive matches against Germany.
Kane, of course, is no stranger to goals for England across what is nearing another record in Wayne Rooney’s all-time leading goals for the national team, with Kane now just two away and sitting on 51.
Theoretically, with England drawn in a group with the United States, Iran, and Wales, many will be expecting Kane to at least equal that record if not surpass it should Southgate’s men improve performance levels and top a group that they truly have no business doing anything other than comfortably winning if they are to match lofty expectations on the back of their last two international tournaments that saw them reach the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and then the finals of Euro 2020.
With a strike rate standing at 0.68/match for England, only national team greats Jimmy Greaves (0.77), Nat Lofthouse (0.91), and Vivian Woodward (1.26) can boast a better return per match for their country, with Kane continuing to justify his place in the pantheon of English players who have shone at both club and international level over the years.