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Monday, November 29, 2021

England qualify for 2022 World Cup in Qatar after thrashing San Marino 10-0

England have qualified for the World Cup after thrashing San Marino 10-0 in their final qualifying group game.

The Three Lions have now secured enough points to seal their place in Qatar next year.

Harry Kane scored four goals before half time, swelling his England tally to 48 and moving up to third in the nation’s all-time scoring charts.

Bukayo Saka scored his side's tenth goal. Pic: AP
Bukayo Saka scored his side’s tenth goal. Pic: AP

The striker became the first England player since Ian Wright in 1993 to score four goals in a single game.

Six minutes into the rout Harry Maguire headed the opener with Bukayo Saka, Tammy Abraham and Tyrone Mings also getting on the scoresheet.

Arsenal youngster Emile Smith Rowe also found the net on his first international start.

A strong performance against San Marino seemed inevitable – the team is the world’s worst national team in FIFA rankings and they have lost all of their previous nine group games in qualifying, conceding 36 times and scoring just once.

A draw against Hungary at Wembley last month meant Gareth Southside’s side needed just four points from their final two games against Albania and San Marino to win the group.

After Friday’s 5-0 victory against Albania, England were at the top of their group with 23 points, followed by Poland who were in second place with 20 points.

The 2022 World Cup is taking place in Qatar in the winter months rather than the usual summer ones, due to the heat.

Harry Maguire (right) celebrated after scoring his side's opening goal. Pic: AP
Harry Maguire (right) celebrated after scoring the opener. Pic: AP

The tournament, which consists of 32 teams in eight groups of four, kicks off on 21 November at the Al Bayt stadium in Al Khor with a match that will feature the host country.

The final will be played at the Lusail Stadium in Doha on 18 December.

Four-time World Cup winners Germany were the first team to guarantee a spot as UEFA Group J winners, with Denmark booking their place just one day later.

In November, Brazil – the most successful national team in World Cup history with five trophies – became the fourth team to secure qualification as one of the top four teams in South America’s groups.

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