England made it into the World Cup quarter-finals with a clear win against Senegal. Harry Kane is mainly responsible for this – although that is perhaps not quite so obvious.
The excitement in England was high again ahead of the World Cup Round of 16 match against Senegal. Harry Kane, the top scorer at Russia 2018, failed to score in the group stage. The goalscorer in the goal crisis – that’s not going to happen with the first title since 1966. It’s quite different: In his current form, Kane is the reason why England are title candidates.
Kane’s first World Cup goal in 2022 against Senegal
The striker ended his “scoring crisis” against Senegal, scoring his first goal of the tournament in a 3-0 win. But what made him the man of the match is what he did from outside the box – and that’s the kind of play that has distinguished him so much in previous games.
Because calling Kane a striker isn’t right. He is a leader, a ten, an attacker, a gap opener – simply the all-rounder in England’s offensive. This is also supported by the fact that he only had three ball contacts in the penalty area against Senegal.
England also need goalscorer Kane
“He has embraced his new role in which he wants to be significantly more involved and bring the game together“, midfielder Declan Rice explained his captain’s new, more defensive style of play before the game.
But he also highlighted the importance of Kane’s goals. “I don’t think we should ever doubt Harry. We’re all keeping our fingers crossed that he scores. We need that. I’m sure he will score in the knockout games. His hit rate speaks for itself” said Rice.
He has now hit. “Of course I’m happy that I’ve scored, as a striker you always are“said Kane. England got what it needs. That’s how it was at last year’s European Championship.
The issues after the group stage were similar because Kane hadn’t scored there either. He simply saved his snapping skills for the special moments. A goal in the round of 16 against Germany (2-0), two goals in the quarter-finals against Ukraine (4-0), a shot into the final against Denmark (2-1 aet) from a penalty.
Kane makes his teammates better
If you like, Kane is back in EM form – and England is on course for the final. Now, however, it’s worth taking a closer look at Kane’s performances in Qatar to see that the 29-year-old is well above his condition at the time. Not only is he the executor, he is also responsible for ensuring that his teammates (Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka have already scored three goals) shine.
Best preparer for the 2022 World Cup
With three assists, Kane is the best assist in the tournament. But the statistics go a step further, as the game against Senegal shows. The professional from Tottenham Hotspur, where he has been the offensive all-rounder since this season, played the penultimate pass before the other two goals.
Nines and tens in one person
In the tournament he fired as many shots on goal as prepared (seven) and won 57 percent of his duels. These qualities in the overall package are unique in the squad: Passing strength, overview, clever positioning predestine him for the ten-job. And on top of that, Kane remains one of the best finishers – and therefore nines – in the world.
The duel with Kylian Mbappé
However, his task in the next game is extremely difficult. In the quarter-finals on Saturday (December 10th, 2022) there will be a gigantic duel against France, where Kylian Mbappé, the superstar of the previous tournament, boasts five goals and two assists.
The 23-year-old shines and is celebrated. While Kane is just as important but doesn’t get the same recognition as Mbappé due to his less flashy style of play. These two players will decide the game.
“Big battle” – mammoth task against defending champion France
“It’s going to be a big night, a tough fight“said Kane, who, in addition to the EM final last year, also experienced the semi-final defeat in 2018 with his team, in the sports show interview: “We have more experience now, many of us now know what it’s like to play such big games. We’re even hungrier to win games like this now. We’re feeling good and going into this game with confidence.” Especially Kane the do-it-all.