England played their final Euro 2024 championships qualifiers on Monday against North Macedonia, where they managed to secure a 1-1 draw in Skopje that ensured an unbeaten end to their campaign, which had six wins and two draws.
England shares the same qualification group with the likes of Italy, who secured the second qualifying spot and qualified alongside England, Ukraine, Malta, and North Macedonia.
Gareth Southgate’s side secured qualification with two matches to spare, but the final two games were played with underwhelming performances from the Three Lions in both games against Malta last Friday and North Macedonia on Monday.
Although they recorded a 2-0 victory over Malta the last time out, the performance left a lot to be desired, and the case was the same on Monday when North Macedonia led before half-time through Bardhi with a rebound from a saved penalty a few minutes before half time.
England did equalise before the hour mark thanks to an own goal but failed to get the win, forcing Bayern Munich striker Harry Kane to admit that the game was tough, but England had a good qualification series generally.
“Difficult game, we knew it would be, and it was tough against a decent side playing on a pitch that’s difficult to play our style of football. We went 1-0 behind against the run of play with a soft penalty. It was good to get on the pitch; I’m always trying to help the team, whether it is 90 minutes or 10 minutes. It was important for us to get a goal back, and a shame we couldn’t get a second. We can be really proud of how the qualifying campaign has gone.” Kane said.
England will have to wait till December 12 to know their Euro 2024 group opponents and will be seeded. Meanwhile, the reigning European champions, Italy, held on for a 0-0 draw against Ukraine in Germany to scrape through thanks to a better head-to-head record over Ukraine.
Daniel Ademiju Idowu