England gets revenge on Italy with Euro qualifying win in Naples
Harry Kane's record-breaking 54th international goal during Thursday's Euro 2024 qualifier in Naples helped England land its first win against Italy in seven attempts and its first on Italian soil since 1961.
Italy's 2-1 defeat at the Stadio Diego Maradona was also its first in Euro qualifying since September 2006, ending an unbeaten run of 40 matches.
Declan Rice opened the scoring in the 13th minute, and Kane, who surpassed Wayne Rooney as England's all-time leading scorer, doubled the advantage with a trademark penalty toward the end of the first half. Argentina-born Mateo Retegui halved the deficit with a goal on his international debut, but Gareth Southgate's side held on to win the Group C encounter even with Luke Shaw sent off in the closing stages.
After withstanding early pressure, England went on to dominate the opening period, leaving the crowd of 45,000 with nothing to do but whistle the Italians off the field at halftime.
Italy pushed hard for an equalizer in the second stanza, outshooting their rivals 6-0 but only hitting the target once.
England got revenge on their rivals after losing to them on penalties in the final of Euro 2020. Italy also relegated England to the second tier of the UEFA Nations League in September.
The Three Lions hadn't beaten the Azzurri in a competitive fixture since 1977 when they won a World Cup qualifier 2-0.
Retegui was Italy's only bright spot on a night of many parallels for the 23-year-old striker. Born and raised in Argentina and currently starring for Tigres in his native land, Retegui made his debut for Italy on the very field Diego Maradona graced during his playing days for Napoli.
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