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Gareth Southgate challenges Jack Grealish to start England alongside ‘exceptional’ Harry Kane

The Three Lions saved a late point as Harry Kane scored his 50th senior international goal from the penalty spot to cancel out Jonas Hofmann’s opener. Germany looked good for the win before Kane won and netted the kick that earned them a 1-1 draw and kept England from sliding to back-to-back defeats in Group A3.

Kane, who becomes only the second man to reach half a century of England goals and sits just three behind Wayne Rooney’s record 53, will undoubtedly be in the headlines. But Grealish helped change the momentum of the contest after replacing the ineffective Mason Mount with just 18 minutes remaining.

Half of Grealish’s 22 England caps have come as a substitute and he has completed just 90 minutes three times for his country. Asked if he sees the Manchester City man as an impact player or a starter, Southgate replied: “I think he can be both.

“If we didn’t trust him, we wouldn’t put him on the pitch with 20 minutes to play thinking he can make the difference. The start of the game, the challenge to the wide players to attack, defend, trying to score goals at a high tactical level and you have to be perfect.

“I think that’s an area where Jack can improve and what he’s done is carry the ball and at this point in the game there’s a little more space, a little more opportunities, and also this freshness.

“The impact he and Jarrod Bowen had was really big in those attacking areas. There’s a good challenge there, good competition for places and we have to keep pushing them.”

Hofmann struck five minutes into the second half having already seen an effort ruled out for offside – with Thomas Muller also having a goal as the hosts often outplayed – and overtook – beaten runners-up Euro 2020.

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But Kane was deemed to have been triggered by Nico Schlotterbeck, the video assistant referee coming on to award England the penalty.

“The finish is outstanding, isn’t it? Southgate said of the resulting kick. “The pressure at that time, he trusts his technique. We have a lot of faith in him. I haven’t really seen the rehearsal (of the decision) again.

“It seemed at the time that there had been an obstruction on him, at the very least. I guess the referee looked at it and decided that was the case.

“Rightly, the fact that he has 50 goals will be central to the story. But his all-around game, the way he led the line, the way he competed, the way he pressed from l before for us today was outstanding.”


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