England nearly through to World Cup; Italy stumble
Sports Desk, Nov 12 (EFE).- Harry Kane had a hat trick Friday to lead England 5-0 over Albania, all but assuring the Three Lions of a berth in World Cup 2022, while European champions Italy drew 1-1 with Switzerland and still have work to do to book their ticket for Qatar.
Harry Maguire scored in the 9th minute to get the party started in front of more than 80,000 at London’s Wembley Stadium.
The Harry Kane show got under way in the 18th minute and Jordan Henderson made it 3-0 for the hosts 10 minutes later. The England captain got his second in the 33rd and completed the hat trick in first half stoppage time.
The Three Lions improved to 23 points, enough for the top spot in Group I. Poland, who trounced Andorra 4-1 Friday with a brace from Robert Lewandowski, are second on 20 points with one match left.
But England’s goal difference is 26, compared with 20 for the Poles.
In Rome, the Euro 2020 winners struggled against Switzerland and the two teams are level on points at 15, though the Azzurri still lead Group C on goal difference.
Silvan Widmer put the visitors ahead with a goal in the 11th minute. Giovanni Di Lorenzo equalized for Italy in the 36th minute, heading in a deceptive free kick.
The contest was still deadlocked at 1-1 in the final minutes of regulation when the referee awarded Italy a penalty for Ulises Garcia’s foul on Domenico Berardi.
The usually reliable Jorginho stepped to the spot and sent the ball high over the cross-bar.
Italy will head to Belfast next week in pursuit of a resounding victory against Northern Ireland while hoping that Switzerland don’t beat Bulgaria by more than two goals. EFE jap/dr