England continued their perfect run in UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying on Tuesday, beating Kosovo 5-3 in a wild affair. Jadon Sancho scored his first two goals for the Three Lions.
Valon Berisha gave England a scare by opening the scoring in the first minute, but the half turned into one-way traffic soon after. Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane turned the deficit into a lead, and an own-goal from Mergim Vojvoda and a quick Sancho double extended the advantage before the break.
Berisha scored his second early in the second half, and Vedat Muriqi converted a penalty after 55 minutes. Kane missed a penalty shortly after, but Kosovo would not score any more goals.
The win leaves England in control of Group A.
Kosovo needed just 35 seconds to shock the home fans, courtesy of a dreadful pass from Michael Keane. He played the ball right to Fidan Aliti, who set up Berisha for the opener:
England needed a fast response and tied things up just minutes later. After some strong possession, Keane redeemed himself by nodding down for Sterling, and the forward brought his side level with his first headed goal for England.
The Three Lions continued to press forward, putting the Kosovo defence under severe stress. A second goal seemed inevitable, and it arrived before 20 minutes had been played.
Sterling again played a key role, beating his man before setting up Kane, who blasted a low shot in between the goalkeeper's legs.
Matt Law of the Telegraph loved how the two linked up:
A Berisha cross provided a moment of panic for the hosts, who were lucky there was no forward ready to drive the ball home, while at the other end of the pitch, Ross Barkley fired a shot well over the bar.
Kosovo grew into the half as it continued, but received another major blow seven minutes before the break. One of their players went down with a knock, and rather than put the ball out of play, England went on the attack. The ball was eventually worked into the box, where Vojvoda inadvertently tapped into his own net.
The third goal opened the floodgates, and in the final minutes of the half, the Three Lions added two more. Sterling twice set up Sancho, who made the most of his start:
More individual mistakes from England once again gifted Kosovo an early goal in the second half. Declan Rice gave the ball away cheaply, and Berisha took advantage to score his second after 49 minutes.
Harry Maguire was the next to let his side down when he brought down Muriqi inside the box. The 25-year-old converted the penalty himself, continuing the crazy start to the half.
Per BBC Sport's Phil McNulty, the away fans started to get excited:
England needed to catch their breath and take the pace out of the contest, and were granted a big boost after 65 minutes. Barkley was brought down inside the box but Arijanet Muric expertly saved Kane's spot-kick.
Kosovo's efforts to complete an unlikely comeback ran out of steam in the final 20 minutes, and the Three Lions had their chances to add to their tally. Trent Alexander-Arnold narrowly missed with a free-kick, and Sterling twice went close, hitting the post once.