LONDON, (Reuters) – England qualified for next year’s World Cup finals after Harry Kane’s stoppage time goal earned a 1-0 win over Slovenia on Thursday although his late effort masked a turgid display.
The England skipper pounced from close range to convert Kyle Walker’s cross in the 94th minute after a night of frustration for Gareth Southgate’s team that offered little hope of great things to come at the finals in Russia next year.
A draw would have sufficed thanks to Slovakia’s 1-0 defeat away to Scotland. With one game to go in Group F, England have 23 points to second-placed Scotland’s 17. It was a difficult night for the hosts, though, in a half-empty stadium as England again displayed a worrying lack of flair against a stubborn Slovenia. Marcus Rashford had England’s best efforts while Kane rarely had a sight of goal as they laboured against a Slovenia side who occasionally threatened to embarrass the home side.