Harry Kane scores after yellow card for diving as England beats Malta 2-0 in Euro 2024 qualifying
Fri, Nov 17, 2023
Soccer News (AP)
LONDON (AP) - England captain Harry Kane got a yellow card for diving and not a single shooting chance until his inevitable goal came in the 75th minute of a 2-0 win over Malta in European Championship qualifying on Friday.
The Bayern Munich striker extended his scoring streak in a prolific season to eight straight games for club and country in a routine win for England, which had already secured the Group E win last month.
His record-extending 62nd goal for England came after a slick series of passes that sliced through Malta's defense and raised the tone of an often drab game between teams ranked fourth and 171st in the world.
While England took the lead in the eighth minute from an own goal by Malta defender Enrique Pepe, neither team produced a shot on target from any attacker until the 64th minute.
The most surprising moment in the first half - at least for Kane himself - was when he was shown a yellow card for simulation when thinking he had earned a penalty. Replays showed Kane appearing to push his left foot into contact with the onrushing Malta goalkeeper Henry Bonello.
The win should ensure that England is among the group winners with the best records who are in the pot of top-seeded teams when the Euro 2024 draw is made Dec. 2 in Hamburg.
Who joins England in Germany as runner-up in the group will be decided in a showdown game Monday between Ukraine and Italy, who are now level on points.
Italy's 5-2 win over North Macedonia on Friday gave the defending champion the tiebreaker edge over Ukraine. Italy needs only a draw Monday to advance when Ukraine hosts that game in Leverkusen, Germany.
AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer"