England 5-Kosovo 3
England faced Kosovo on Tuesday, in their final game of the most recent international break.
England headed into the game top of Group A, with Kosovo behind them by a single point, although they have played one more game than England.
Tuesday’s game didn’t get off to a great start for Gareth Southgate’s side, with Kosovo taking the lead inside two minutes.
However, England then stepped up a gear, with the score 5-1 by half-time.
England’s goals came from Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane, an own goal and a Jadon Sancho brace.
Kosovo put on a strong showing in the second 45, though, and managed to bring the score back to 5-3.
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Keown on England’s defence
While Kosovo put up a good fight and showed their passion, it was largely England’s mistakes that led to the visitors scoring.
The opening goal of the game saw Michael Keane play a very poor ball, which was intercepted by a Kosovo player, leading to them scoring.
Declan Rice also gave the ball away, which led to a goal. And Harry Maguire made a rather rash tackle to give Kosovo a penalty, which they scored.
After the game, ex-Arsenal player Martin Keown has written about England’s defensive mistakes, and stated that serious questions remain:
“There remain serious questions defensively. In the first minute, Michael Keane made a sloppy pass in defence and England were punished.
“Early in the second half, Declan Rice made a sloppy pass in midfield and they were punished.
“Then Harry Maguire made an unnecessary challenge on Vedat Muriqi, gave away a penalty, and they were punished.
“Southgate will want to get rid of this mindset of sloppiness that seems to have crept in.” As quoted by the Mirror.
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