Belfast Telegraph

Poor mistakes would cost us against better opposition, says Southgate

England’s defensive mistakes gave Gareth Southgate food for thought on a night when his attackers’ devastating play proved enough to see off Kosovo in a thrilling Euro 2020 qualifying clash. The Three Lions boss was at pains to stress in the build-up that international football’s new boys were not only far better than their place 120th in the world rankings but the toughest Group A test to date. Yet while England’s march towards Euro 2020 continued with a fourth win from as many qualifiers, the pulsating 5-3 win against Kosovo left Southgate with plenty to ponder. Jadon Sancho’s brace complemented Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane efforts, along with Mergim Vojvoda’s own goal, in a rip-roaring first half that started with Valon Berisha capitalising on a shocking Michael Keane mistake 34 seconds in. Berisha scored a second in a sloppy second half that saw Harry Maguire foolishly give away a penalty that Vedat Muriqi scored, unlike the normally reliable Kane, whose spot-kick miss summed up a strange night in Southampton.

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