A late Saido Berahino spot-kick secured England under-21s a 2-1 comeback win over Croatia in their Euro 2015 play-off first-leg at Molineux on Friday evening, with Harry Kane’s 57th-minute equaliser proving the turning point.
Despite Gareth Southgate’s side earning nine wins and a draw from their 10 group games, it was Croatia who took a shock lead when striker Marko Livaja headed home from a corner on 13 minutes.
England pilled on the pressure from there, but the breakthrough didn’t come until the second-half when Kane’s diving header from Berahino’s cross levelled the game just before the hour, before the West Bromwich Albion striker was brought down in the box with five minutes left to allow him to seal the win from the spot.
Croatia had a golden chance to equalise in the final seconds but Antonio Milic was denied after an excellent challenge from Kane’s Tottenham Hotspur teammate Eric Dier, with England now taking a narrow lead into Tuesday’s second-leg in Vinkovci.
Kane’s performance on the night was a particular highlight, with the striker in the midst of a solid start to the season, having scored four goals in nine games for Spurs so far under new manager Mauricio Pochettino.
The 21-year-old is still to make an impact in the Premier League, however, having made just four brief appearances for a total of 41 minutes, with all of his four strikes and four starts coming in cup action.
Nevertheless, with fellow front men Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado continuing to misfire in front of goal, calls from fans for him to be given more playing time have been getting louder, as the reaction to Friday's outing shows.
Harry Kane for Ballon D'or— Rory (@Rory_Costello) October 10, 2014
Rickie Lambert shouldn't be close to the England squad at this present time... Get Harry Kane in!!— Josh Williams (@Williams10Josh) October 10, 2014
Harry Kane should play for England, a real goal scorer , something England hasn't had since Owen!— Sean culley (@CulleySean) October 10, 2014
Well done Harry Kane, rescued England again— Clive (@THBNSays) October 10, 2014
Is it me or does Harry Kane score when he wants?— Chris Twaddle (@Chris_Twaddle) October 10, 2014
Harry Kane has started this season very well. Could be the new Sheringham— Mr. Tobz (@Pressa_T) October 10, 2014
Harry Kane is a Goalscorer no question about that— the boy (@IvanaThiiodored) October 10, 2014
Harry Kane is gonna be the future for England— Michael (@Michael_Tutty98) October 10, 2014
Harry Kane should be starting ahead of Ade IMO— I Smoke Alcohol (@SammieGreig) October 10, 2014
Harry Kane actually scores a few goals. Imagine how good he'll be when Spurs actually start creating chances— Zee Nagioff (@zeenagioff) October 10, 2014
Harry Kane is a quality player!— Kieran Bridgewater (@Bridgewater1998) October 10, 2014
harry kane just cant stop scoring, and yet big adebayor is still getting picked ahead of him— willkershaw (@thewillkershaw) October 10, 2014
Poch needs to stop giving Adebayor chance, after chance and actually play a goal-scorer like @hkane28— Harrison Ledo (@HarrisonLedo) October 10, 2014
Harry Kane is hands down the best U21 player there is in the game— D∀N (@False_CB) October 10, 2014
Could be a big season for Harry Kane. With Pochettino around, he'll get his fair share of chances - it's about taking those opportunities.— Spurs In The Blood (@SpursInTheBlood) October 10, 2014