Ruthless England put TEN goals past a helpless San Marino side as captain Kane scores FOUR in 42 minutes and Maguire, Smith Rowe, Abraham, Mings, Saka and an own goal complete the rout

  • England sealed their spot at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar next winter with a 10-0 victory over San Marino  
  • Harry Kane scored four goals – including two penalties – in a dominant first half which saw England net six 
  • Harry Maguire, an own goal, Emile Smith Rowe, Tyrone Mings, Tammy Abraham and Bukayo Saka also scored
  • Crystal Palace star Connor Gallagher made his Three Lions debut at half-time and hit the post in Serravalle  
  • Read: World Cup play-offs explained – how will they work and when is the draw? 
  • Latest World Cup news, including live action and results 

Here’s a scenario: someone presents you with a bank card, a pin number and tells you – with no strings attached, no catch – to go to a machine and make a withdrawal. What are you going to do?

You would help yourself, of course. Well, here in Serravalle, we witnessed the sporting equivalent of that situation as Harry Kane did what the rest of England’s squad anticipated by going on a scoring spree that took him ever closer to history.

Qualification for the World Cup was always going to be confirmed in San Marino, all we needed to know was how many goals England would plunder in Group I’s final fixture – and with Kane on the teamsheet, it had the potential to be a lot.

Harry Kane (left) scored four first-half goals as England qualified for the 2022 World Cup with a 10-0 win over San Marino 

Gareth Southgate’s (right) Three Lions just needed a point to progress to Qatar but made it through via an emphatic victory

So it proved. Kane, in normal circumstances, might have missed this trip but he made it clear to Gareth Southgate after his hat-trick against Albania on Friday that he was determined to be involved again. This, to be clear, wasn’t a captain leading his team into battle: this was hunter sensing blood.

It is now inevitable that Kane will become this country’s leading scorer, the only question now is when he will get there. Inevitably, given the way of the world now, there will be some eye-rolling but because we are living through this feat, the sense of achievement should not be lost.

Think how long Sir Bobby Charlton was out there on his own; think of the angst Gary Lineker felt at not being able to usurp and the joy that consumed Wayne Rooney when he moved to the top of the tree. That Kane has been able to get into that conversation within seven years speaks volumes.

To give what Kane has done further context, consider this: he has scored 26 goals in 27 appearances since September 2019 and he will be a major reason why other nations will want to avoid England when the draw is made for the tournament next April.

Harry Maguire headed the Three Lions in front on six minutes by crashing home Phil Foden’s corner following early pressure

Bukayo Saka’s shot deflected in off Fillippo Fabbri and into net for England’s second goal in Serravalle on Monday night


England (3-4-3): Ramsdale; Maguire (sub Gallagher h/t), Coady, Mings; Alexander-Arnold, Bellingham, Phillips (sub Chilwell h/t), Saka; Foden (sub Abraham h/t), Kane (sub James 63), Smith Rowe (sub Stones 73)

Subs not used: Johnstone (GK), Pickford (GK), Walker

Goals: Maguire 6, Fabbri (OG) 15, Kane 27 31 39, 42, Smith Rowe 58, Mings 69, Abraham 79, Saka 79

San Marino knew they were on a hiding to nothing but, perhaps, they went a little bit overboard in their efforts to be welcoming hosts: to hear Three Lions, Football’s Coming Home Again and Sweet Caroline – all those summer anthems – being willingly played by the stadium DJ raised an eyebrow.

You couldn’t even compare this to a Premier League team being drawn away to someone from the National League in the FA Cup because, in that scenario, you know the plucky underdogs will have a go and make life as difficult as possible for as long as possible.

It will be a long time before these players have chance to play in a game so devoid of stress that the only headache England had was keeping their feet on a cabbage patch pitch that would have had club managers holding their breath in apprehension.

They need not have worried. The charade of this being a contest was over after five minutes and six seconds, when Harry Maguire rose to thud home a header that broke the deadlock – no ear-cupping in celebration, this time – and, from that point, it became about statistics.

Bukayo Saka, the wonderfully gifted Arsenal flyer, started the game with a spring in his step – he plays with an infectious and energetic zest – and a dart into the area ended with him cutting in from the left and firing in a shot that the hapless Filippo Fabri turned into his own net. 

Southgate had demanded that his players take this seriously and show respect and the fact they kept playing would have pleased him. Nobody was taking it more seriously than Kane and, shortly after, he embarked on his personal crusade.

His first came via the penalty spot after VAR spotted that Dante Rossi had handled Phil Foden’s acrobatic scissor kick and he dispatched with the minimum of fuss; number two arrived five minutes later, as he was in the right place to finish good work by Arsenal’s Emile Smith-Rowe.

A 13-minute hat-trick was completed with another penalty after another San Marino handball and his fourth, which put him level with Lineker on 48 – and England’s sixth – came in the 41st minute when he danced around a couple of challenges and poked in his finish.

Dante Rossi’s handball earned England a penalty which Kane dispatched by putting the spot kick straight down the middle

Kane scored a fourth from Emile Smith Rowe’s cross and got his hat-trick then a fourth an England’s sixth before half-time

Were England finished? No chance. We made the analogy about free money and plenty of others wanted to get involved, so Smith-Rowe (58), Tyrone Mings (69), Tammy Abraham (78) and Saka (79) all profited to take the score to double figures.

Here was another piece of history, as it was the first 10-goal victory margin since 1964 against the United States; England were so prolific that they even confused the stadium scorer, who had Jude Bellingham down as one of the scorers – but his strike was disallowed.

A good night, then, but will everyone remember it fondly? Ask Aaron Ramsdale, who spent much of his first cap trying to keep warm and retain his concentration. He can be assured bigger tests will arrive in the future – specifically in Qatar in 2022.

Emile Smith Rowe made it seven on his first England start by crashing home Tammy Abraham’s flick on inside the box

Tyrone Mings headed in England’s eighth just after Rossi was sent off for San Marino for a foul on debutant Connor Gallagher

Tammy Abraham made it 9-0 for England just Saka (above) made it ten goals for England with a close-range header

Sportsmail’s SAM BLITZ was on the live blog for World Cup qualifier coverage of San Marino vs England  

Host commentator

Ten goals for England, four for Harry Kane, two first-time goalscorers, two penalties, two penalties, one red card. 

But England are going to the World Cup in Qatar next year. Their spot is confirmed and they’ve done it in spectacular style. 

San Marino are not going to the World Cup. That is safe to say.

But get the flights booked to Qatar. One year to go until the wallcharts are up. 

87 mins: England haven’t scored in eight minutes. Concern for Gareth Southgate?

81 mins: You do have to feel sorry for San Marino’s players. Most of those players are part-time and have to go back to work in the morning. Hopefully they get a nice England shirt for their troubles. 

Tammy Abraham thinks he has England’s 11th, but is penalised for a foul on the goalkeeper. England have scored ten and had two disallowed now. 

79 mins: And that’s ten. Double digits. 

Trent Alexander-Arnold is heading towards more assists than letters in his name at this rate, with the Liverpool man crossing into the box for Bukayo Saka to head home for the easiest finish of his life.

The first time England have scored ten since they beat the USA in 1964. How many more?

78 mins: Now it’s nine. Trent Alexander-Arnold puts the ball in fro the right and Tammy Abraham controls the ball in the box and steers the ball into the bottom corner. 

England fans chant ‘We want 10’. Go on then, why not. 

77 mins: Ben Chilwell’s looping cross from inside the box baffles the San Marino goalkeeper and hits the top of the crossbar. That’s how mad the game is. 

England goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale is probably doing a crossword in the England goal. 

74 mins: Another England substitution. Emile Smith Rowe comes off for John Stones. More scrambling around to try and work out what this substitution is.

Not sure Stones is playing left wing. Not sure anyone is playing left wing actually. Just score. 

74 mins: Despite for San Marino. VAR spots a flick on Tammy Abraham which catches a San Marino defender in the build-up. That is a harsh one. Abraham is booked as well.

Jude Bellingham denied a first England goal. 

71 mins: Ridiculous game. San Marino are all over the place. Defenders lying about everywhere.

Connor Gallagher thinks he has his first England goal on debut but strikes the post from inside the six-yard box. Reece James whips the ball in for Jude Bellingham who lashes home in the middle of the goal. 

69 mins: From bad to worse for San Marino. Alexander-Arnold whips the ball into the box and Tyrone Mings meets a free header. It’s eight. This could be a BIG margin. 

For reference, San Marino have only conceded ten three times in their history. The last team was Poland, led by Robert Lewandowski, in September 2019. Can England do it? 

68 mins: Connor Gallagher bursts down the right and is felled by Dante Rossi. A stonewall yellow card and a second one means he is off.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is over the free-kick…

Another update from Group C. Switzerland are now 3-0 up against Bulgaria, they have done their end of the bargain.

Italy are still being held by Northern Ireland with just over 20 minutes left. They are going into the play-offs as it stands. 

64 mins: Connor Gallagher was dreaming of that moment last night. The Crystal Palace star is clean through after a clip over the top but the midfielder can only prod the ball back to the San Marino goalkeeper.

San Marino think they have a one-on-one with Alessandro Golinucci going down the right but Tyrone Mings catches up with him. 

62 mins: Another substitution for England and Harry Kane finally comes off. Reece James is on to replace him and Conor Coady is given the Three Lions captain’s armband.

What that does to the formation, who knows? No tactics, just goals. 

58 mins: A first England start and a first England goal for Emile Smith Rowe. 

Bukayo Saka crosses for Tammy Abraham who flicks the ball back to the Arsenal midfielder, who crashes home a first-time finish.

What a moment for the 21-year-old. 

56 mins: Big chance for Tammy Abraham, who does not have a long journey back from San Marino to Rome after this.

The former Chelsea man is played through on goal by Harry Kane and Abraham tries to lift the ball over the top of the onrushing San Marino goalkeeper but his effort flies over.

Should have scored. 

Goal in Group C. Switzerland have the lead against Bulgaria and with Italy still drawing in Northern Ireland, it means the Swiss are going to the World Cup as it stands and the Euro 2020 winners are going into the play-offs.

Time for Roberto Mancini’s side to wake up a little…

52 mins: Emile Smith Rowe slips Ben Chilwell down the left, the Chelsea man then cuts the ball back for Jude Bellingham.

The Dortmund man feeds Smith Rowe to complete the triangle but his chip is straight into the arms of the San Marino goalkeeper. 

49 mins: Emile Smith Rowe shows some nice touches down the left before trying to whip the ball in for hungry strikers Tammy Abraham and Harry Kane, but the referee gives San Marino a break by awarding a free-kick for pushing.

What was that San Marino team talk like? They made three changes themselves at the break. Can’t have been that positive. 

46 mins: Three substitutions for England at the break. Conor Gallagher is on at half-time for his England debut, he replaces Phil Foden. Ben Chilwell is on for Harry Maguire and Tammy Abraham for Kalvin Phillips.

Harry Kane is still on. He wants more!

We’ve had a lot of England in the last 45 minutes, so let’s go around the grounds shall we?

Scotland have the lead against Denmark through John Souttar’s effort. In the Group C finale, Italy are drawing 0-0 with Northern Ireland at half-time so Switzerland could finish top of the group if they can muster a win against Bulgaria, but they’re goalless at half-time too. 

England have six. Harry Kane has four. San Marino have a 15-minute break.

The hosts had as many shots as own goals and conceded more penalties than they have constructed efforts on target. 

Premier League managers now want their players off the pitch, which is poor and slippery. England are through to Qatar, just set the timer/graphic/tweet for about an hour’s time. 

45 mins: Two minutes added on. How to sum this one up? Domination. 

42 mins: This is getting silly now. Harry Kane picks up a loose ball after Trent Alexander-Arnold charges into the box and beats a couple of defenders and slots home.

That’s a goal – and defending – you see at Sunday League level. England six up. 

39 mins: Harry Kane puts it into the top corner and the England captain has back-to-back first-half hat-tricks. 

Phenomenal. He started last week on 41 England goals, he now has 47. Six away from Wayne Rooney’s record. If he plays the full 90 minutes he may get there tonight! Doubt it though.

38 mins: If you thought this referee would be easy on San Marino, you were wrong.

Bukayo Saka crosses into the box and Harry Kane puts a goal-bound header but Manuel Battistini puts his hands up and the official points to the spot. 

No prizes for guessing the taker…

36 mins: So close to another Harry Kane first-half hat-trick. Bukayo Saka releases motoring attacker, er, Tyrone Mings into the box, who squares for Kane inside the six-yard box but the England captain’s finish is scuffed and wide this time. 

Smith Rowe then feeds Bellingham in the box and his touch can’t find Kane and San Marino get a breather, for now. 

33 mins: San Marino have had a shot. SAN MARINO HAVE HAD A SHOT!

It’s one on target as well. Nicola Nanni has space on the edge of the box and he takes a shot which takes a deflection. Aaron Ramsdale has to get down and palm it behind for a corner, which he punches away with ease. 

32 mins: Make that another goal for Harry Kane.

Emile Smith Rowe has a first England assist, crossing from the left to the England captain who has a couple of yards of space in the penalty area. The finish is scruffy but nestles in the bottom corner.

Qatar is well and truly sealed now, if it wasn’t already.*

*It probably was around six months ago

30 mins: Phil Foden, who is playing a sort of quarterback role for England today, pings a ball over the top of the very deep San Marino defence and Bukayo Saka is there on the stretch but his effort is straight at the San Marino goalkeeper. 

The shot count goes up. This is not even a contest. 

28 mins: England are going for more here. San Marino defender Fabbri gives the ball away again and the Three Lions charge at goal. 

Trent Alexander-Arnold’s ball in from the right is heading towards Bukayo Saka but goalkeeper Benedettini manages to hold on.

26 mins: Never in doubt. Harry Kane has scored more penalties than any other player for England and he makes no mistake here going straight down the middle. 

Kane now has 45 goals for England and 13 this calendar year, more than any other player in a single annum. 

23 mins: Nearly an emphatic third for England and it fell to Phil Foden.

Once again it’s Bukayo Saka at the thick of the action. The Arsenal man whips the ball in and Phil Foden who tries an acrobatic effort and it goes just wide.

But there’s a VAR check. A San Marino defender has his hand eye up in the air… and it’s given! Chance for Harry Kane here…

18 mins: Jude Bellingham wants an England goal tonight. The Borussia Dortmund midfielder is getting forward a lot and is trying to get in on the action.

Bellingham fires one from distance along the wet Serravalle floor but Elia Benedettini, who I feel is going to be busy tonight, holds the ball well.

15 mins: Just as San Marino show some attacking intent, up go England with a second. Bukayo Saka runs down the line, checks backwards, runs inside and fires a right-footed shot which takes two deflections.

The last comes off Fillippo Fabbri and that’s 2-0 England. Cruise control. 

13 mins: San Marino have the ball! Even better, they have a free-kick so can lump it into the England penalty box! 

Three crosses into the box are cleared by Harry Maguire and Conor Coady and England have the ball again. It was fun while it lasted. 

11 mins: Arsenal – and now England fans – sing their praises for Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe to the tune of Status Quo’s ‘Rockin All Over the World’ – and that exact combination nearly leads to a second England goal.

Saka crosses for Smith Rowe in the six-yard box but the latter can’t get his header sorted. The Gunners duo try to combine again but Smith Rowe’s touch is a little off once again. 

8 mins: England, as expected, are well on top and are keen to bring this contest to an end very quickly.

Bukayo Saka gets down the left again and his cross is better, but San Marino clear again for a corner. Jude Bellingham meets Phil Foden’s ball in this time but can’t find the finish. Harry Kane’s cross then evades everyone.

A long night for any San Marino player, coach, or fan lies ahead. 

6 mins: San Marino survived for just over five minutes, and then came Harry Maguire.

Phil Foden’s corner is a wonderful delivery and up goes the Manchester United captain to head home emphatically. A more muted celebration from Maguire, who is still delighted.

Two in two for the centre-back. How’s that for a confidence booster?

4 mins: First bit of running seen from Bukayo Saka, who bursts past several challenges to enter the penalty area down the left.

The Arsenal man, playing at left wing-back tonight, overhits his cross and England recycle possession again. 

1 min: Almost an early glimpse for Harry Kane. San Marino defender Fabri slips on the edge of the box and the England captain is nearly clean through, but the home defender gets back to make a last-ditch clearance.

As expected, it’s all England possession so far. 

0 mins: National anthems all sorted, time for the action. England’s final World Cup qualifier is underway.

The hosts kick off the game. 

England’s objective is nearly complete. Beat San Marino and they are through to the World Cup.

The two teams are out in Serravalle and kick-off is just moments away now…

Here’s your 15-minute warning for kick-off, and here’s a reminder of your England starting XI this evening…

England XI: Ramsdale; Alexander-Arnold, Coady, Maguire, Mings, Saka; Bellingham, Phillips; Foden, Kane (c), Smith Rowe

So while all the focus will be on England getting to Qatar, there’s also the question of who the second-placed teams will be come close of play tomorrow, with those countries set to battle it out in the play-offs.

Scotland will definitely be part of that picture, while Wales are all but confirmed to be involved too. 

So who will play who? When is the draw? And how do the play-offs work? 

Gareth Southgate is looking sharp in San Marino tonight, but has taken time to salute the fans who have made the trip to Serravalle to watch England play.

Most of the 6,000 fans tonight will be Three Lions fans, though hundreds will also camp outside the stadium where the views are just as good as the seats inside. 

Great commitment from the away fans!

Sportsmail’s DOMINIC KING is our man covering the action in Serravalle tonight but with the World Cup finals just over a year away, what do Gareth Southgate’s side need to do to put them in shape for Qatar.

Read more below…

Harry Kane’s already broken one England record this week – and he’s looking for another very big one in the next 12 months. 

The England captain overtook Wayne Rooney’s record for competitive goals for the Three Lions last week, with his hat-trick against Albania taking him to 39 goals. 

He has 44 strikes for England overall, just nine shy of Rooney’s all-time record of 53.

How many will Kane get tonight? And will he break it before the Qatar World Cup next November?

Let’s not beat around the bush, England are expected to qualify for the World Cup tonight – and there will be some important and serious discussions ahead when they do.

The Three Lions players are expected to discuss as a group how to react to Qatar’s poor human rights record – particularly their treatment of migrant records – ahead of the World Cup going ahead next winter.

Sportsmail’s SAMI MOKBEL explains more below…

So now the England team news is out, who is looking to impress Gareth Southgate this evening?

Not much can be learned tonight against a side ranked 210 in the world, but there are opportunities for the eight players coming into the Three Lions starting line-up.

Aaron Ramsdale and Emile Smith Rowe are making their first starts, Tyrone Mings and Conor Coady are at the back, while the likes of Tammy Abraham and Connor Gallagher are on the bench.

Take a look at Sportsmail’s picks for the players with the most to prove tonight…

England players have arrived in Serravalle, with tonight’s stadium holding just over 6,000 spectators – a far cry from the 90,000 that greeted the Three Lions at Wembley on Friday.

It’s a strong England side tonight and there are loads of confident faces. No wonder, San Marino have never won a competitive game and their only recorded win game in a slender friendly victory over Liechtenstein in 2004.

Lots of action awaits us tonight across Europe, with World Cup places at stake.

Italy and Switzerland have a shootout for their automatic Qatar spot, with the Euro 2020 winners at Northern Ireland this evening. The Swiss will hope for an Italian slip-up plus a victory for them at home to Bulgaria. 

Meanwhile, Scotland are in action but they cannot get more than their guaranteed play-off spot. Denmark are the visitors at Hampden Park this evening, with the Danes winning every match and not even conceding a goal since their Euro 2020 semi-final loss to England.

Poland are hoping for an unlikely San Marino victory against England plus a large win over Hungary to take them to the World Cup finals. Good luck with that one…

All games (all 7.45pm GMT kick-offs)

San Marino vs England

Poland vs Hungary

Albania vs Andorra

Scotland vs Denmark

Israel vs Faroe Islands

Austria vs Moldova

Northern Ireland vs Italy

Switzerland vs Bulgaria 

Right, we’ve got some team news!

There are eight changes from the Three Lions side who beat Albania 5-0 on Friday night, including first starts for Arsenal duo Aaron Ramsdale and Emile Smith Rowe. 

Harry Kane, Harry Maguire and Phil Foden are the only three players who keep their places from the Wembley clash, with the England captain hoping to build on his 44 Three Lions goals this evening.

Bukayo Saka looks like he is turning out at left wing-back, with Trent Alexander-Arnold on the other side, while Connor Gallagher will be hoping to get his Three Lions debut off the bench. 

When you play the worst team in the world, you’ll get the worst treatment.

A power cut in Serravalle temporarily plunged this World Cup qualifier into doubt tonight, but electricians managed to get the lights back on and this game is now going ahead again. 

There was a similar incident in English non-league football over the weekend, with non-league side Marine seeing their floodlights go out during their FA Trophy clash with Dunston. But a visiting midfielder, who is an electrician by day, managed to solve the situation in his kit!

Maybe England need a non-league player or two in their set-up, just in case!

One more result is needed.

Gareth Southgate’s England squad have nearly booked their spot in Qatar. In fact, if the Three Lions do not seal it tonight, it would football’s greatest every underdog story.

To put it simply, England need to avoid defeat to the world side in the world. A point is needed in Serravalle but the Three Lions are widely expected to win, and win big. 

Southgate is set to make the changes, so this is a big chance for the likes of Aaron Ramsdale, Emile Smith Rowe and uncapped Connor Gallagher to show their worth at this level.

Kick-off in San Marino is at 7.45pm (GMT), and we’ve got team news coming within the next 25 minutes…

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