Belfast Telegraph

Treble joy for Kane as England hit seven to make the big stage

Treble treat: Harry Kane fires in a first half hat-trick last night
Treble treat: Harry Kane fires in a first half hat-trick last night

By Graham Luney

Harry Kane hammered in a first half hat-trick as England marked their 1,000th senior men's international with a thumping 7-0 victory over Montenegro at Wembley - a result which booked their ticket to the Euro 2020 finals.

Gareth Southgate's men only needed a draw to reach next summer's tournament but they showed little mercy to the visitors as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Marcus Rashford and Tammy Abraham, with his first international goal, also found the net.

England fielded their youngest starting line-up for 60 years with the average age of the team 23 years 255 days.

It was the fourth youngest England side since the Second World War and included Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho (19) and Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount (20).

Securing automatic qualification for next summer's tournament means all of the Three Lions' group games will be staged at Wembley, where Southgate's men will believe they can then return for the semis and final.

Czech Republic came from behind to beat Kosovo 2-1 and join England in qualifying for the finals.

The Republic of Ireland warmed up for their crucial Euro 2020 qualifier against Denmark on Monday with a 3-1 friendly victory over New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium. Sean Maguire and Callum Robinson scored their first goals for the Republic with Derrick Williams also on target for Mick McCarthy's side.

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