Harry Kane hits four as England qualify, Italy need playoff

Emile Smith Rowe of England celebrates after scoring during the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between San Marino and England at San Marino Stadium on November 15, 2021 in San Marino.


England qualified for the World Cup in record-breaking style as Harry Kane scored four times in a 10-0 demolition of San Marino in the Three Lions' biggest ever victory in a competitive match. 

Needing a draw from their last Group 1 qualifier to reach next year's tournament in Qatar, England went goal crazy on Monday, scoring 10 in a single game for the first time since a 1964 friendly against the United States. 

Harry Maguire put Gareth Southgate's side in front early on before Filippo Fabbri's own goal doubled England's lead. England captain Kane took center stage after that, scoring four before the break to rewrite the record books. 

Arsenal midfielder Emile Smith Rowe notched his first senior international goal in his maiden start. Tyrone Mings headed his first England goal after San Marino's Dante Rossi was sent off, before Tammy Abraham and Bukayo Saka completed their country's record-breaking win. 

Kane has scored 16 goals so far for England since the start of the year, setting a calendar year record for the Three Lions, surpassing the 12-goal tallies of George Hilsdon in 1908 and Dixie Dean in 1927. The 28-year-is now equal with Gary Lineker on 48 England goals. Only Bobby Charlton, with 49 goals, and Wayne Rooney with 53 are above him. 

Kane is the first England player to score four times in a single game since Ian Wright against San Marino in 1993. After bagging a hat-trick in Friday's 5-0 win over Albania, Kane is the first England player to score three or more in successive games since Tommy Taylor in 1957.

Harry Kane of England looks on during the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between San Marino and England at San Marino Stadium on November 15, 2021 in San Marino.


Southgate's men will head to Qatar in 12 months as one of the main contenders to win the World Cup.

Meanwhile, Italy will have to get through the playoffs if they are to return to the World Cup after a goalless draw at Northern Ireland allowed Switzerland to pip them on the final day of qualifying. 

The recently crowned European champion Italy dropped to second place behind Switzerland in their qualifying group. 

Switzerland leapfrogged Italy with a 4-0 win over Bulgaria. 

Northern Ireland maintained their record of not conceding a goal at home in their qualifying campaign with a dogged performance in front of a passionate home crowd. 

Scotland will be seeded, like Italy, in the playoffs after a 2-0 victory over Group F winner Denmark, whose perfect record in qualifying came to an end. 

Also, in Group F, Israel finished third after beating the Faeroe Islands 3-2, and Austria beat Moldova 4-1. 

Poland finished second in England's group, closing with a 2-1 loss at home to Hungary, and will likely be away in its first match in the playoffs. 

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