TIRANA: Harry Kane led the way by scoring one goal and making another as England claimed a second successive victory in the early stages of their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign.
Kane headed home just before halftime in a 2-0 win over Albania in Tirana. He was close to a second goal minutes later when he rattled the crossbar from close range. England’s second thus came from Mason Mount in the 63rd minute as the Chelsea man converted an angled cross from his captain.
Burnley’s Nick Pope, along the way, became the first goalkeeper to keep clean sheets in all of his initial six appearances for England.
Tottenham leader Kane has scored 21 goals in 20 competitive qualifying matches for England. Only Wayne Rooney (30) scored more.
Kane has also scored in each of his past seven away qualifying matches for the Euro/World Cup, the longest run by an England player. He has scored in 16 different stadia for England. Only Tom Finney (17), Michael Owen (25) and Wayne Rooney (27) have more.
England, who opened their schedule with a 5-0 victory over San Marino, host Poland at Wembley on Wednesday.
In the same group Robert Lewandowski scored for a 10th consecutive game for club and country as Poland beat Andorra in World Cup qualifying.
The Bayern Munich striker volleyed in Maciej Rybus’ free-kick to open the scoring and hooked in a second from close range from Kamil Jozwiak’s cross.
That took him up to 47 goals in 42 games this season and 16 in his past 10.
Lewandowski was replaced by Karol Swiderski, who scored a late third.
Serge Gnabry’s 16th-minute strike earned Germany victory in Romania as Joachim Low’s side secured their second successive win in World Cup qualifying Group J.
The Bayern Munich attacker swept home a square ball from Chelsea midfielder Kai Havertz, who shone in Bucharest.
Gnabry also had a shot saved superbly by Florin Nita, who then stayed alert to deny Chelsea’s Timo Werner.
Manuel Neuer bravely blocked an effort from Nicolae Stanciu late in the game.
The win in Bucharest means Germany sit at the top of the group on six points, above Armenia on goal difference. Next up for Low’s side is a match at home to North Macedonia on Wednesday.
Italy lead Group C on goal difference from Switzerland following a 2-0 win in Bulgaria, as Roberto Mancini’s men extended their unbeaten run to 24 matches.
Torino captain Andrea Belotti, who started up front alongside Juventus forward Federico Chiesa, scored from the spot just before half-time after he was fouled in the area by Daniel Dimov.
Manuel Locatelli curled in the second in the 82nd minute to all but ensure victory.
Switzerland defeated Lithuania 1-0, but kick-off was delayed by 15 minutes because one of the goals was too big at St Gallen’s Kybunpark Stadium.
Reports suggested the goalposts were too high on one side when inspected before the game by match officials. A police officer helped staff remove the goal, which was eventually replaced by a spare set.
The drama did not affect Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri, who scored what was to prove the winner after only two minutes.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic produced an excellent backheel flick to set up Sweden’s opener in their 3-0 win in Kosovo.
The 39-year-old, who returned to international football last week, provided the assist for Ludwig Augustinsson’s opener in the 12th minute.
Alexander Isak and former Sunderland midfielder Seb Larsson, from the spot, scored the other goals for Janne Andersson’s side.
The Swedes lead Group B on six points – two clear of 2010 champions Spain, who earlier beat Georgia 2-1.
Scotland remain winless in the start to their World Cup qualifying campaign despite fighting back to clinch a point against Israel in Tel Aviv.
Steve Clarke’s side fell behind to a long-range Dor Peretz rocket a minute before half-time after the hosts spurned several big chances.
But, hitting back to draw with Austria on Thursday, Ryan Fraser slotted early in the second half to level.
Scotland could not find a winner, leaving them third in group F.
Israel, who claimed their first point after losing their opener to Denmark, came close to a decisive goal when Sun Menahem headed into the side netting.
At the other end Scott McTominay shot tamely into a defender, when teed up by a scything, intricate manoeuvre between Andy Robertson, Kieran Tierney and Callum McGregor. While substitute Ryan Christie fluffed a late opportunity.