Well, that was a pulsating last few minutes! When Leigh Griffiths scored his second free-kick, I actually thought England were going to lose but then Harry Kane came to the rescue with a late equaliser!
Scott Brown was the first to go in the book early on with a needless (but expected) challenge on Dele Alli.
Kane had two chances to put his side into the lead, but his first effort from close range failed to hit the target, whilst with his second, he completely misjudged the movement of the ball which came from an assist by Adam Lallana.
Kane had another opportunity to score but this chance was from long range. His effort was headed away from the line by Kieran Tierney. That was probably the best action from Scotland all half.
England continued to press when the likes of Adam Lallana and Jake Livermore had chances of their own, but Lallana hit the side netting while Livermore’s effort was easily saved by Craig Gordon.
The only downside was Joe Hart wearing a Tony Pulis style cap. Whatever floats his boat I suppose.
Although there were chances here and there, the second half didn’t really spring to life until Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain broke the deadlock with a sublime solo effort. He soon turned provider as he connected with Lallana but the Liverpool midfielder headed over which was disappointing really. You’d put your money on him to score from that position!
Before that though, Livermore and Kane both had chances to put England in the lead. Scotland had a chance of their own from Andrew Robertson, but his effort went wayward.
Soon after Oxlade-Chamberlain’s solo goal, his side found themselves 2-1 down with not one, but two “world class” freekicks from Leigh Griffiths. At that point, I thought Scotland would then go on to put England to the sword. However, that wasn’t the case as shortly before the whistle, Kane struck to level that score for his side.
The result leaves England as clear frontrunners and leaves the home side four points adrift of second place following Slovakia’s win over Lithuania.
Thoughts on the game
Ahead of the game, admittedly, I was being a bit bullish by saying that England would win comfortably (how wrong was I).
The first half was rather tiresome. There were some chances, but it wasn’t the most spectacular of halves, although Scotland did well to keep England level. The key moment for Scotland was Griffiths’ free-kicks, they were great! Not many keepers would save those, but I thought Joe Hart could have done better to get a hand on either shot.
England were somewhat below par and a 2-2 draw feels like a loss, bearing in mind the chances they had.
Overall, it wasn’t a great performance but England did at least manage to salvage a draw from which there is lots to learn from.
In my preview, I said that I expected big things from Kane given the fact that he was made captain. Did he lead by example? Given that he scored the equaliser, that’ll be a yes.
Before England break up for the Summer, they play France on Tuesday, a match that’ll give Southgate the chance to experiment with the side.
So, a draw for England continues a run that hasn’t seen them lose a qualifier since 2009. What are your thoughts? Let us know @OfiitcialTFF
Feature Image Credit: Daniel