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Saka shines as England dismiss Ukraine in Euro qualifier

AFP . London
28 Mar 2023 00:00:00 | Update: 27 Mar 2023 23:07:06
Saka shines as England dismiss Ukraine in Euro qualifier
England’s midfielder Bukayo Saka (2R) celebrates scoring a goal during the UEFA Euro 2024 qualification match against Ukraine in London on Sunday – AFP Photo

Gareth Southgate hailed “ruthless” Bukayo Saka as the England forward’s breathtaking goal inspired a 2-0 win against Ukraine that maintained his side’s perfect start to their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign on Sunday.

Southgate’s team followed an impressive victory against Italy in their Group C opener with another composed display highlighted by Saka’s brilliance and the latest display of Harry Kane’s predatory instincts.

Saka has been one of the standout performers in Arsenal’s climb to the top of the Premier League this season and the forward was at his very best once again at Wembley.

It was Saka’s pin-point cross that allowed Kane to give England the lead in the first half as the Three Lions captain extended his record tally for his country.

Kane wrote himself into the record books against Italy, scoring his 54th international goal to surpass Wayne Rooney as England’s all-time leading goalscorer.

Surrounded by his wife and children, the Tottenham striker was presented with a golden boot before kick-off, but quickly got back down to business with goal number 55.

Kane had been more instrumental than most in England’s progress to major tournaments in his career, scoring 34 times in just 29 qualifying group matches.

Aged 29, Kane is at his peak, while the 21-year-old Saka is only just starting to explore the vast depths of his potential, as he showed with his superb long-range goal.

“Once he receives inside and turns you know there’s a chance that might happen. It’s a top-level finish,” Southgate said.