Kane and Saka on target as England beat Ukraine
England maintained their winning start to Euro 2024 qualifying with a comfortable victory over Ukraine at Wembley.
England struggled to build any momentum until record scorer Harry Kane made it 55 international goals when he bundled in Bukayo Saka’s cross at the far post eight minutes before half-time.
The second arrived three minutes later and was all Saka’s own work, the Arsenal winger turning away from his man on the edge of the area and curling a superb effort beyond the reach of Anatoliy Trubin and into the top corner.
Leicester City’s James Maddison made a good impression on his first England start while Brentford’s Ivan Toney won his first cap as a late substitute, captain Kane making way once there was never any serious danger of a Ukrainian comeback.
Saka a special talent
Saka is part of England’s young generation that Southgate hopes will form a key component of their Euro 2024 campaign and the quest to finally claim a major trophy – and what a talent he is.
Saka has been outstanding as Arsenal lead the Premier League table and after a fine World Cup in Qatar he has simply carried on the form he has been showing all season.
He was a constant danger down England’s right flank and the 21-year-old merely confirmed what he is showing on an almost weekly basis, namely that he has a golden future ahead of him.
Saka’s cross unlocked a well-organised Ukraine defence for Kane to pounce and set England on their way before producing a superb piece of individual skill to effectively end the contest.
England’s ideal start
England manager Southgate could not have hoped for a better start to these qualifiers as two of arguably their more testing fixtures have resulted in maximum points.
And he will be happy with portions of England’s performances in both games, particularly the first half against Italy in Naples and the manner in which they closed this game out with the minimum of fuss.
England are the favourites to qualify at the top of their group and secure a place at the Euros in Germany, where they will be among those touted as potential winners, and these opening two games have certainly justified that status.
They survived a poor second half in Italy and a drab first half-hour here but the end results certainly count as a job well done.
Player of the match
Squad number17Player nameZinchenko
Squad number16Player nameMykolenko
Squad number10Player nameKonoplyanka
Squad number15Player nameTsygankov
Squad number8Player nameMalinovskyi
Squad number2Player nameSobol
Squad number20Player nameSudakov
Squad number11Player nameDovbyk
Squad number14Player nameBuyalskyi
Squad number6Player nameStepanenko
Squad number12Player nameTrubin
Squad number7Player nameMudryk
Squad number3Player nameSvatok
Squad number9Player nameYaremchuk
Squad number21Player nameKaravaev
Squad number22Player nameMatvienko
- 10BellinghamSubstituted forGallagherat 86′minutes
- 9KaneSubstituted forToneyat 81′minutes
- 11MaddisonSubstituted forGrealishat 86′minutes
- 21KaravaevSubstituted forBuyalskyiat 61′minutes
- 16MykolenkoSubstituted forSobolat 62′minutes
- 6StepanenkoSubstituted forKonoplyankaat 90′minutes
- 8MalinovskyiBooked at 69mins
- 7MudrykSubstituted forTsygankovat 61′minutes
- 9YaremchukSubstituted forDovbykat 74′minutes
- Serdar Gözübüyük
Match ends, England 2, Ukraine 0.
Second Half ends, England 2, Ukraine 0.
Foul by Jordan Henderson (England).
Heorhii Sudakov (Ukraine) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Conor Gallagher (England) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Eduard Sobol (Ukraine).
Foul by Jordan Henderson (England).
Yevhen Konoplyanka (Ukraine) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, England. Conceded by Yevhen Konoplyanka.
Attempt saved. Jack Grealish (England) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Conor Gallagher.
Attempt missed. Harry Maguire (England) header from the left side of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Jordan Henderson with a cross following a corner.
Substitution, Ukraine. Yevhen Konoplyanka replaces Taras Stepanenko.
Corner, England. Conceded by Eduard Sobol.
Attempt saved. Harry Maguire (England) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ben Chilwell with a cross.
Corner, England. Conceded by Taras Stepanenko.
Attempt saved. Conor Gallagher (England) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Ben Chilwell.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Substitution, England. Conor Gallagher replaces Jude Bellingham.
Substitution, England. Jack Grealish replaces James Maddison.
Delay in match because of an injury Taras Stepanenko (Ukraine).
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