Erratic England beat spirited Kosovo in eight-goal thriller

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A breathtaking attacking performance masked some poor defending as England ran out 5-3 winners over Kosovo in an entertaining Euro 2020 qualifier on Tuesday.

Despite being overwhelming favorites, the home side found themselves behind after just 35 seconds, when a wayward pass from Michael Keane allowed Valon Berisha to fire home.

Keane partially atoned for his mistake seven minutes later, as his header from a corner was turned in by Raheem Sterling to level the scores.

Sterling then turned provider, laying on a goal for Harry Kane and two from Jadon Sancho, with an unfortunate own goal from Mergim Vojvoda ensuring England took a 5-1 lead into the break.

Some more slack defending in the second half allowed Kosovo to score two more goals, while Kane uncharacteristically missed a late penalty as the game petered out.

After the match, England head coach Gareth Southgate acknowledged the topsy-turvy nature of proceedings. "It was bizarre. They say international football is dull; well, it wasn't tonight. We made poor individual mistakes but showed good composure to recover. The forward play was outstanding at times. Raheem Sterling's performances have been of the highest level. He was almost unstoppable."

England remain top of Group A with maximum points from four games, and face the Czech Republic next on October 11. Kosovo's defeat sees them drop to third with two wins from five games. 

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