Monday, 26 June, 2017

Harry Kane's equaliser 'huge moment' for England - Gareth Southgate

Scotland v England World Cup Qualifier Live Commentary England pass over Cahill for captaincy in favor of Spurs player, fail to beat Scotland
Mae Harvey | 11 June, 2017, 10:23

The Tottenham Hotspur player's goal was a face-saver for England after Leigh Griffiths had struck twice for the home side in the final three minutes.

The former Scotland and Manchester United midfielder said he was impressed with the physical presence of Gareth Southgate's young England side - and how his men coped with it.

Griffiths, 26, had never previously scored for Scotland and his goals drew rich praise from manager Gordon Strachan after a result that kept Scotland in fourth place in the pool.

Scotland then finish the qualification campaign at home to Slovakia and away to Slovenia. I will look at the players and tell them you have to keep coming back and taking knocks like that.

"I thought we came into a hostile atmosphere and controlled the game completely, we should have been further ahead, but if you don't get the second goal, you run the risk of an equaliser at any point".

"The power, the strength and the speed of England is phenomenal".

"To score two goals that late in the game we just have to see the game out but it was a poor pass when it was three on one in the attack and they put the ball in the box for a great finish from Harry Kane".

"I don't think anybody realises, when they watch the telly, how big and strong and quick these guys are".

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"Overall the objective is to qualify and we are top of the group. That was beyond the call of duty and there is no-one here who knows how it hard is to play against those players on a day like that", he added.

"Imagine being a player out there. It is annoying for them to do so much and have a result that could have been one of the best results ever".

Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had given the Three Lions a seventieth minute lead from close range.

Hampden erupted and there was more to come, with Griffiths caressing another free-kick inside the opposite post to send the Scots fans into raptures.

"I think it's a huge moment for the team", said Southgate, who took his squad to a military training camp on a team-building exercise last week.

"And then a noise after that, that I have never heard anything like before".

The 114th meeting of global football's oldest foes was a naturally tense affair, with the hosts looking to keep their dreams of reaching Russian Federation alive as Gareth Southgate's men attempted to tighten their grip on top spot. That says a lot.

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