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England cruise to victory over Malta 

Already-qualified England earned an unconvincing win over Malta at Wembley to strengthen their hopes of being seeded for Euro 2024 next year.

Already-qualified England earned an unconvincing win over Malta at Wembley to strengthen their hopes of being seeded for Euro 2024 next year.

Early Advantage and Offensive Challenges:

England gained an early lead as Malta’s Enrico Pepe diverted Phil Foden’s pull-back into his own net within the first eight minutes. Despite this advantage, Gareth Southgate’s side faced difficulties, failing to land a single shot on target in the initial hour against the 171st-ranked nation in the world.

Late Brilliance Secures Win:

The turning point arrived in the 75th minute when England showcased their prowess, securing victory through Harry Kane. A display of precision passing involving Kyle Walker, Phil Foden, and Bukayo Saka set up captain Kane, who netted his 62nd international goal, sealing the win for the team.

VAR Drama and Denied Goal:

Amidst England’s push for dominance, Declan Rice appeared to extend the lead with a superbly curled shot into the bottom corner. However, the goal was disallowed following a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) review. Kane’s position in the goalkeeper’s line of sight led to an offside ruling, nullifying the potential third goal for England.

In a game that saw early promise, England grappled with offensive struggles against a lower-ranked opponent. Despite moments of brilliance, including Kane’s crucial goal, VAR intervention denied them a further goal, highlighting the challenges faced even in victory.

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