England maintained their winning start to the 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign with a comfortable victory over Albania in Tirana.
Albania provided more of a challenge than hapless San Marino in England’s opening 5-0 win at Wembley but once they had survived an early scare when Myrto Uzuni missed a great chance for the side ranked 66th in the world, this was routine for Gareth Southgate’s side.
England captain Harry Kane lifted the mediocrity of an attritional first half on a slow surface when he scored his 33rd goal for his country, a superbly guided diving header from Luke Shaw’s cross seven minutes before the interval.
This set the platform for a more positive second-half display, Mason Mount adding a composed second in the 63rd minute after sustained England pressure saw Phil Foden’s effort turned on to the post by Albania keeper Etrit Berisha and Kane lifting a close-range shot over the top.
England stretched their unbeaten run in World Cup qualifiers to 23 games but now face their sternest test so far in this campaign as Poland and their master marksman Robert Lewandowski come to Wembley on Wednesday (19:45 BST).
More to follow.
- 4HysajBooked at 79mins
- 14LaciSubstituted forRamadaniat 89′minutes
- 7BareBooked at 21minsSubstituted forMemushajat 71′minutes
- 2MemollaSubstituted forGjasulaat 59′minutesBooked at 89mins
- 16CikalleshiSubstituted forManajat 59′minutes
- 17BrojaSubstituted forLenjaniat 59′minutes
- 2WalkerBooked at 69mins
- 8PhillipsSubstituted forWard-Prowseat 71′minutes
- 9KaneBooked at 73mins
- 7FodenSubstituted forLingardat 81′minutes
Match ends, Albania 0, England 2.
Second Half ends, Albania 0, England 2.
Offside, Albania. Myrto Uzuni tries a through ball, but Rey Manaj is caught offside.
Hand ball by Jesse Lingard (England).
Foul by John Stones (England).
Rey Manaj (Albania) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Harry Maguire (England).
Berat Djimsiti (Albania) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, England. Conceded by Ardian Ismajli.
Attempt blocked. Harry Kane (England) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kyle Walker.
Klaus Gjasula (Albania) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Mason Mount (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Klaus Gjasula (Albania).
Substitution, Albania. Ylber Ramadani replaces Qazim Laci.
Foul by James Ward-Prowse (England).
Ledian Memushaj (Albania) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Kyle Walker (England).
Qazim Laci (Albania) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, England. Jesse Lingard replaces Phil Foden.
Elseid Hysaj (Albania) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.