Glasgow - Harry
Kane marked his first game as captain with a stoppage-time equaliser as
England denied Scotland a famous victory in Saturday's 2-2 World Cup
qualifying draw in Glasgow.
England were heading for a first
qualifying defeat since October 2009 after Leigh Griffiths struck two
glorious late free-kicks to wipe out substitute Alex
Oxlade-Chamberlain's 70th-minute opener.
But in a breathless
denouement, Tottenham Hotspur striker Kane dispatched a deep cross at
the back post to preserve England's unbeaten record in Group F and deny
Scotland a first win over their oldest rivals since 1999.
for me is a significant moment because the character of the team has to
come through in these moments," said England manager Gareth Southgate,
whose side face France in a friendly in Paris on Tuesday.
objective is to qualify and we're top of the group. We haven't managed
to win, but given the narrative of the game, we've got to be pleased to
take the point."
England remain top of their qualifying pool, but
Slovakia have trimmed their advantage to two points after moving up to
second place after a 2-1 win in Lithuania.
Kane's strike, his
sixth in 18 England games, was a sucker-punch for Scotland manager
Gordon Strachan, whose side remain in fourth place, four points off a
possible play-off berth.
But after March's last-gasp 1-0 win over
Slovenia, this was another display to nourish hope of a first major
tournament appearance since the 1998 World Cup.
"At 60 years old, that would have been the best result of my footballing career," said Strachan.
"To do what they did was phenomenal. You can't do any more than they did. It was like a middleweight fighting a heavyweight."
were left in no doubt as to what kind of afternoon awaited them before
kick-off when 'God Save the Queen', the English national anthem, was
drowned out by a volley of Scottish boos.
on by the Hampden Park faithful, Scotland started on the front foot,
Griffiths sending a shot down Joe Hart's throat in the early stages.
Scotland's deep-lying 5-4-1 system starved England's creative players of space, but gradually cracks began to appear.
a risky sortie by Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon, Kane saw a lob
headed off the line by Kiernan Tierney, with Gordon scampering back to
divert Marcus Rashford's follow-up behind.
Gordon was tested again
twice before half-time, tipping Adam Lallana's drive into the
side-netting and unconvincingly fisting a Jake Livermore effort over the
Livermore went even closer early in the second half
with a low shot that was deflected against the base of Gordon's
But Scotland posed a threat on the break, Andrew
Robertson spurning a sight of goal by slicing over from Griffiths's
cut-back and Stuart Armstrong curling off-target.
reacted by sending on Oxlade-Chamberlain for Rashford in the 65th minute
and five minutes later, the Arsenal man put England ahead.
gathering a throw-in on the right, Oxlade-Chamberlain twirled around
Brown, edged across the box and let fly with a left-foot shot that flew
through Gordon's feeble attempt at a save.
Lallana squandered a
chance to extend England's lead when he headed over and the visitors
were punished in the 87th minute as Celtic striker Griffiths sent a
free-kick arcing over the wall and inside the right-hand post.
It was Griffiths's first Scotland goal and the first England had conceded in the campaign.
erupted and there was more to come, with Griffiths caressing another
free-kick inside the opposite post to send the Scots fans into raptures.
Kane would have the last word, ghosting in at the back post to volley
in Raheem Sterling's cross from the left and completing a dizzying