- England qualified for 2018 FIFA World Cup with victory against Slovenia
- Harry Kane’s stoppage time winner was third late goal on road to Russia
- Kane and Adam Lallana scored late v Scotland and Slovakia respectively
When the fourth official puts up their board as a game reaches its conclusion, most in the ground do not consider it a genuine lifeline if their team is in difficulty. If there is any hope, it is so often a passing one, which fades as the seconds tick on.
For England, on the road to Russia, stoppage time has been their saviour not once, or twice – but thrice. Three goals past the 90th minute for the Three Lions has seen them collect an additional five points, with the latest strike from Harry Kane against Slovenia sealing a spot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ for Gareth Southgate’s side.
FIFA.com takes a look at the trio of stoppage time stunners that secured the 1966 winners their return to the global finals for a record-equalling sixth time in a row.
Adam Lallana: 90+5 in Trnava
Versus Slovakia (4 September 2016) Score before goal: *SVK 0-0 ENG
*Score after goal: SVK 0-1 ENG
For the England faithful, the start of 2018 World Cup qualifying seems a lifetime ago. Sam Allardyce was in charge, and his sole game in the hotseat saw the Three Lions struggle to break down Slovakia for large periods of the game. Deep, deep into stoppage time Danny Rose worked his way into the Slovakian box on the English left-hand side. His cross was blocked, but found its way to Adam Lallana. The Liverpool man shimmied the ball onto his left foot and hammered towards goal. Matus Kozacik was unfortunate not to keep it out, but England did not care, as jubilant scenes followed.
"It's a great feeling. It’s a dream to score for your country. The most important thing was getting the three points, getting off to a good start under the new regime. All the hard work has paid dividends. We were very patient, and we had to be," Adam Lallana.
Harry Kane: 90+3 in Glasgow
Versus Scotland (10 June 2017) Score before goal: *SCO 2-1 ENG
*Score after goal: SCO 2-2 ENG
Hampden Park was bouncing. Gareth Southgate was deflated. Leigh Griffiths had just scored two sublime free-kicks to turn the game on its head, and put Scotland 2-1 up. Eric Dier saw a superb set-piece of his own turned away by Craig Gordon in stoppage time and the hosts were on the counter-attack, hoping to make it 3-1. Kyle Walker intercepted, sent the ball on to Raheem Sterling, and the Manchester City man’s deep cross was volleyed home by Harry Kane. A breathless, topsy-turvy finish had seen England go from victory, to defeat, to a point in the space of just six minutes.
“It was a huge moment for the team. The clock may run out but you never stop. Today we didn’t stop and a real quality finish got us the point. Is it what we wanted? No, but the chain of events was remarkable. Anything is possible in football. We can still improve in all areas but nevertheless it was a significant moment," Gareth Southgate.
Harry Kane: 90+4 in London
Versus Slovenia (5 October 2017) Score before goal: *ENG 0-0 SVN
*Score after goal: ENG 1-0 SVN
Three hours of football had been played between these two sides in World Cup qualifying without a goal. Fourth official Christian Dingert stepped up to the touchline and raised his electronic board: six minutes. The Wembley crowd managed to register a murmur of approval. Southgate’s side had plenty of possession throughout the 90 minutes, and had begun to create some more chances in the closing stages. Kyle Walker found space on the England right, whipped in a cross and there was that man Kane to poke home. England had done what they needed to do ahead of the game: guarantee their World Cup spot with a victory.
“It was frustrating at times out there. We had to be patient. In the last ten minutes they were getting tired and we created a few opportunities and I was happy to finally put one in the back of the net in the end," Harry Kane.