San Marino 0-4 England Gareth Southgate's side moved to within a point of Group 1 leaders Finland after a Harry Kane hat-trick helped them defeat their ten-man opponents.
Article top media content
England moved to within a point of Finland at the top of UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 1 after Harry Kane struck a hat-trick against ten-man San Marino.
Central defender Michael Keane got the visitors up and running on five minutes, before the hosts had goalkeeper Andrea Manzaroli dismissed for conceding a penalty which Kane converted. The Tottenham Hotspur FC forward added two more after the break to help Gareth Southgate's men close in on top spot ahead of Tuesday's match against Lithuania in Ipswich.
The visitors took little time to find their stride and were ahead when Keane scrambled in after a corner from the right. England continued to dominate and though Raheem Sterling and Thomas Ince failed to hit the target with good chances, they doubled their advantage when the former was brought down in the box by Manzaroli on the stroke of half-time. Kane made no mistake from the spot.
Replacement keeper Massimo Francioni made outstanding stops from Kane and Ravel Morrison and also did his best to keep out the third, stopping Kane's initial shot on 66 minutes before the No9 fired in the rebound. The striker completed his treble in the dying moments, rounding the substitute and sliding the ball in from a tight angle.