Harry Kane

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Int’l friendly roundup: 10-man France beat England; Brazil, Argentina rout

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A roundup of all of Tuesday’s action in international friendlies…

[ MORE: Tuesday’s transfer rumor roundup | Monday | Sunday ]

France 3-2 England

England enjoyed a man advantage for nearly an entire half, but it would matter very little as les Bleus topped the Three Lions on a late winner from Ousmane Dembele. Raphael Varane was sent off after giving away a penalty when the Real Madrid defender fouled Dele Alli in the 47th minute. Referee Davide Massa then sought a second opinion, that of the video assistant referee. The two officials came to the conclusion, after about 60 seconds of deliberation, that Varane should be shown a red card.

France had already overcome an early 1-0 deficit, which came courtesy of Harry Kane‘s opening goal in the 9th minute, as Samuel Umtiti (22nd minute) and Djibril Sidibe (43rd) put the home side ahead before halftime. Not long after that, Varane was off and Kane was converting from the penalty spot to make it 2-2. The two sides would remain level another 30 minutes before Dembele hammered a right-footed strike past Jack Butland in the 78th minute.

[ MORE: England, France walk out to “Don’t Look Back in Anger” ]


Australia 0-4 Brazil

Brazil were without the likes of Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino, but it mattered very little in the Seleçao‘s 4-0 rout of Australia. Diego Souza bagged his first goal for Brazil after 11 seconds; it was only the 31-year-old’s sixth career appearance for his country, and he would go on to score a second goal, in the 90th minute. Thiago Silva (62nd) and Taison (75th) provided the goals in between Souza’s bookends.


Singapore 0-6 Argentina

Similarly, Argentina were without the likes of Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero, and it mattered even less than Brazil’s missing superstars. Fedrico Fazio opened the scoring in the 25th minute, and the floodgates were opened. Joaquin Correa made it 2-0 just six minutes later. Alejandro Gomez (60th) and Leandro Paredes (74th) made it 3-0 and 4-0, and Lucas Alario and Angel Di Maria both scored in the 90th minute for 5-0 and 6-0.

Elsewhere in international friendlies

Cameroon 0-4 Colombia
Romania 3-2 Chile
Norway 1-1 Sweden
South Africa 1-2 Zambia
Canada vs. Curacao — 7:30 p.m. ET
Ecuador vs. El Salvador — 8 p.m. ET
Peru vs. Jamaica — 8:30 p.m. ET

Scotland and England draw 2-2 in wild finish

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The World Cup qualifier between Scotland and England finished in a 2-2 draw in a game that featured a stunning final five minutes that saw three goals.

With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain‘s 70th minute score the only goal through much of a relatively sleepy game, it burst to life in th final minutes. Scotland suddenly went in front thanks to a pair of Leigh Griffiths free-kicks just two minutes apart, the latter finding the back of the net on the stroke of added time. But Scotland couldn’t hold on as Harry Kane would equalize with just seconds remaining to see England salvage a draw.

[ MORE: Saturday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup ]

The draw keeps England’s 26-match qualifying unbeaten streak alive, but it nearly came to an end.

Oxlade-Chamberlain had England looking strong when he produced a brilliant move to skip past Scott Brown, then cut back onto his left to slide by two more defenders before ripping into the back of the net. The goal had been coming for England as they held possession for much of the game and out-shot Scotland 16-8, 9-3 on target.

However, Gordon Strachan’s side would not give in. Scotland earned a pair of free-kicks, and Leigh Griffiths deposited them both past Joe Hart. First, with the ball positioned well outside the box just a tick to the right of central, Griffiths went over the wall and into the top-right corner to level the match in the 87th minute. Then, just three minutes later, with the ball nearly in the same spot, he went to the other side, leaving Hart again grasping at air.

[ MORE: Joe Hart confirms his Manchester City career is likely over ]

With England’s backs suddenly against the wall, they pressed through added time, and Harry Kane produced the goal to salvage a point. An absolutely perfect long-ball from Raheem Sterling met Kane at the back post, and the Spurs front-man deposited it with a simple finish before wheeling away to celebrate.

The draw leaves England atop Group F, three points ahead of Slovenia. The draw is brutal for Scotland, who could have jumped into third with the three points, instead now back in fourth a point behind Slovakia and six behind the group leaders.

Harry Kane ready to take on “leader” role for England

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Harry Kane will undoubtedly be named captain of Tottenham Hotspur one day, and you’d have to be crazy (or an Arsenal-England supporter) to say he won’t eventually take the armband for England as well.

[ MORE: Monday’s transfer rumor roundup | Sunday | Saturday ]

In fact, with Hugo Lloris the current Tottenham captain and only 30 years old, there’s a better than decent chance Kane will become captain for his country before his club.

With Wayne Rooney‘s club future far from certain, the current England captain was once again omitted from Gareth Southgate‘s squad for Saturday’s 2018 World Cup qualifier away to Scotland. The absence of Rooney, England’s all-time leading goal scorer, leaves the squad with a rather large void of leadership. It’s a void Kane isn’t just willing, but anxious, to step up and accept himself — quotes from Goal.com:

“I see myself as one of the leaders now in the team and I’m looking forward to it. I’m only 23 but I feel that there are a lot of younger players in the team compared to me and I have a good relationship with them.

“I have a good relationship with all the players – the older, the younger – and there are quite a few Spurs boys in there as well. It helps as we play with each other, train with each other day-in, day-out, so we know each other very well on the pitch, but off the pitch also.

“If someone is feeling a bit down, or if they’re not quite right then we are there to know that and help them out.”

[ MORE: Bale “happy” in Madrid; not tempted by Man United ]

Of the 24 players in the squad for Saturday’s rivalry showdown in Glasgow, only Jermain Defoe (20) and Jamie Vardy (6) have scored more goals than Kane (5); and only Gary Cahill, who’s the current captain, and Joe Hart, whose 70 caps make him the most tenured player on a refreshingly young squad, seem obvious choices to prevent Kane’s ascension to the captaincy in the near future.

“We just want to go out there and do it again. We know it will be a bit tougher doing it away from home but, with the team we have got and the confidence we have got, we know we just have to go out there and not get too caught up in the moment.

“You have to be professional. Of course, it is going to be a passionate game but it’s about being calm and composed and sticking to the game plan. I feel we can do that. I feel we have a level-headed squad.”

Premier League stats of the season — Opta

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With the 2016-17 Premier League season officially complete, a look at some of the compelling, shocking and record-breaking stats, from August to May — all stats courtesy of the good folks at Opta:

[ MORE: Pogba, Mkhitaryan fire Man United to Europa League trophy ]

30 — Chelsea (30 wins) have broken the PL record for most wins in a season (previously 29, by Chelsea in 2004-05, and 2005-06)

457 — Only Chelsea (457 minutes) were in a losing position in PL matches for less time than Liverpool (471 mins) this season

114 — Chelsea used all three substitutes in every Premier League game this season (114 in total) – they are only the second team to do this in a 38-game Premier League season (Manchester City, in 2014-15)

230 — Michy Batshuayi’s title-winning goal for Chelsea at West Bromwich Albion was his first PL shot on target since Sept. 24th, 2016 (230 days), and only his third overall in the competition

3,420 — Cesar Azpilicueta became the fourth outfield player in PL history to play every minute of a title-winning season (after Gary Pallister, in 1992-93; John Terry, in 2014-15; and Wes Morgan, in 2015-16)

1 — Because of their opening day victory against Leicester City, Hull City spent one more day on top of the PL than Tottenham Hotspur did in 2016-17 (0)

86 — 11 previous PL champions have won the title with a point tally equal to or less than Tottenham’s 86-point tally in 2016-17

+60 — Tottenham Hotspur’s goal difference of +60 is the highest in PL history for a non-title winning side

3 — Tottenham were the only club in England’s top four tiers to see as many as three players score 20+ goals for them in all competitions this season (Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Son Heung-min)

6 — Harry Kane now has six PL hat-tricks for Spurs, twice as many as any other player for the club (Robbie Keane and Jermain Defoe, both with 3)

0 — Liverpool were unbeaten in the PL against the top seven teams this season (12 played: 7 won, 5 drawn, 0 lost) but their record against the other 13 sides was (26 played: 15 won, 5 drawn, 6 lost)

38 — Both Arsenal and Manchester United have finished outside of the top four of the top-flight for the first time since 1978-79 (38 years)

600 — Manchester United became the first team to win 600 PL matches (962 played: 604 won, 209 drawn, 149 lost)

2,000 — Manchester United also became the first team to win 2000 points in the PL, with victory over Watford in February

11 — 11 different English players made 20+ PL appearances for Bournemouth this season. The last PL team to do this was Aston Villa, in 2000-01 (also 11 players)

48.8% — West Bromwich Albion scored a league-high proportion of their goals from set-piece situations this season (48.8%). They also conceded the lowest proportion from set-pieces (21.6%)

70 — Swansea City conceded 70 goals in the PL this season. Only two teams have conceded more in a 38-game PL season and survived relegation (Wigan, in 2009-10 — 79, and West Bromwich Albion in 2010-11 — 71)

13 — Hull City gave away 13 penalties this season, the most of any side in a single PL campaign

Men in Blazers podcast: “The Blazers” awards, plus John Terry’s farewell

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Rog and Davo recap the race for Top Four, John Terry‘s farewell at Chelsea and another Harry Kane hat trick. Plus, they roll out the red carpet for the 2016-17 end-of-season awards, “The Blazers.”

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