England clinched their spot at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar with a 10-0 away win over San Marino to top Group I on Monday night as Harry Kane scored a second hat trick in as many matches and ended the match with four goals.
The game was largely a formality for Gareth Southgate’s side table-topping Three Lions, as first-half goals from Harry Maguire, Kane’s four tallies and a San Marino own goal had England up 6-0 at the break.
Maguire struck early in the first half with a towering header, before Filippo Fabbri redirected a Bukayo Saka shot into his own net and Kane converted from the spot following a VAR-assisted call for handball against the hosts.
Emile Smith Rowe set up Kane for his second of the opening half and he added another from the penalty spot, then his fourth of the opening 45 minutes with a clinical finish from close range.
Smith Rowe opened his senior England account with a crisp strike to start the second half and Kane was withdrawn around the hour mark.
Kane, who took his calendar-year haul for England to a new record 16, became the first England player to score back-to-back hat tricks since Tommy Taylor in 1957 and the first to score four in a match since Ian Wright against San Marino in 1993.
It was also the first time England had scored 10 in a match since beating the United States 10-0 in 1964.
In winning the group by six points from Poland, Southgate’s side racked up 38 goals, their highest tally in any European or World Cup qualifying campaign.
All that must be countered by the fact that as well as playing San Marino, who have won once in 186 internationals, England also faced Andorra who are not much better.
Things will toughen up from now on but they will arrive in Qatar as one of the favourites.
“Fantastic. It came to the last game and we were expected to win tonight but we’ve done a good job. Fantastic to go through,” the 28-year-old Kane, who is now only five goals behind England’s record scorer Wayne Rooney, said.