England beat Kosovo 5-3
England (AP) :
England recovered from conceding a goal after 35 seconds to score five times in the first half in a wild 5-3 win over Kosovo yesterday, maintaining the team’s perfect start to qualifying for next year’s European Championship.
Jadon Sancho scored twice in two minutes — the 19-year-old winger’s first goals at the senior international level — to cap an England comeback that also featured goals from Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane. There was also an own goal.
Kosovo’s commitment to attack left the team wide open at the back but threatening going forward, making for an end-to-end match at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton on a rare occasion England weren’t playing a home international at Wembley Stadium.
Valon Berisha took advantage of a careless pass from England defender Michael Keane to put Kosovo ahead inside the first minute and also scored at the start of the second half with a curling effort into the top corner in the 49th.
When Vedat Muriqi converted a 55th-minute penalty after the forward himself was tripped by England defender Harry Maguire, there was an outside chance that Kosovo — only accepted as members of UEFA and FIFA in 2016 — were going to keep alive their unbeaten 15-match run stretching back two years.
Yet, England didn’t concede again and could even afford to fail from the penalty spot when Kane’s attempt was saved by goalkeeper Arijanet Muric. Sterling also struck a shot against the post in the second half.
England have won all four of their games in Group A, scoring 19 goals, and still haven’t lost a qualifier for either the World Cup or European Championship in 10 years.