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Kane in dream start for England
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 29 - 03 - 2015

LONDON — Harry Kane scored 80 seconds into his England debut Friday, providing another astonishing moment in his breakthrough season in a 4-0 victory over Lithuania in European Championship qualifying.
The 21-year-old Kane replaced captain Wayne Rooney amid roars by expectant fans inside Wembley Stadium, and he delivered instantly by heading into an empty net in the 73rd minute.
“It's not too bad,” Kane quipped. “It's the start I dreamed of, it's a little bit of a blur at the minute. ... It's the best moment by far — to represent your country at senior level is the top.”
The Tottenham striker stole the limelight from Rooney, who went within two goals of Bobby Charlton's England record 49 with his sixth-minute opener, and Raheem Sterling tapping in his first international goal. Danny Welbeck also scored as England made it five wins out of five in Group E, staying six points ahead of both Slovenia and Switzerland, who both won Friday.
Elsewhere in Group E, Slovenia remained in the second automatic qualification place by routing bottom-placed San Marino 6-0.
Switzerland stayed third after beating Estonia 3-0, making it 11 goals without conceding on a three-game winning run. Xherdan Shaqiri helped to create first-half goals for Fabian Schaer and Granit Xhaka, and Haris Seferovic grabbed a late third.
Reigning European champion Spain took an important step toward qualifying from Group C with a 1-0 victory at home to Ukraine in Seville.
Alvaro Morata of Juventus was handed a start up front in the absence of injured Chelsea star Diego Costa and took advantage to score his first international goal in the 28th minute after being set up by Koke.
Spain was still not entirely convincing, but it could and probably should have won by more goals.
However, Sergio Ramos, on the ground where he first made his name with Sevilla a decade ago, headed against the woodwork from a David Silva free-kick and only a great Andriy Pyatov save stopped substitute Santi Cazorla making it 2-0 after a one-two with Isco.
Del Bosque's side is now clear in second place in Group C, although it remains three points behind Slovakia, which won 3-0 at home to Luxembourg for a fifth win from five outings.
Elsewhere in Group C, Belarus came from behind to claim its first victory of the campaign, 2-1 in Macedonia.
Meanwhile, the Group G fixture between Montenegro and Russia in Podgorica was abandoned after the German referee stopped play on two separate occasions because of trouble.
The first stoppage came with less than a minute played after visiting goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was hit by a flare thrown from the crowd.
The CSKA Moscow goalkeeper was stretchered off and taken to hospital as a precaution, and play restarted after a half-hour stoppage.
However, the game was abandoned altogether with the score 0-0 midway through the second half as tensions mounted between the two teams after Russia's Roman Shirokov had a hotly-disputed penalty saved.
It remains to be seen what action UEFA will take, although Russia will hope to be awarded the victory.
Austria tops the group with 13 points after a 5-0 win in Liechtenstein, with Sweden four points behind in second. It won 2-0 in Moldova as captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a second-half brace, including a late penalty. — Agencies


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