England end Euro 2024 qualifying campaign with draw against North Macedonia | Football


Kane scored with his first touch off the bench (Picture: Getty)

England rounded off their European Championship qualifying campaign with a disappointing draw away to North Macedonia on Monday night.

After labouring to victory over Malta in front of a bored Wembley crowd on Friday, the Three Lions were given a stern test away in Skopje, trailing at half-time after a controversial penalty was awarded to the hosts.

Harry Kane emerged from the bench in the second-half to force the equaliser with his first touch, with the goal going down as a North Macedonian own goal.

Despite an uninspiring final two games, England qualify for next summer’s competition in Germany unbeaten with six wins and two draws, placing them among the top seeds for the group stage draw which takes place next month.

There was little pressure on Gareth Southgate’s side but a need to improve on last week’s disappointing showing in London. England put seven past the same opposition without reply at Old Trafford in June but failed to assert the same sort of dominance in their final match of 2023.


With Harry Maguire lucky to not concede a spot kick early in the half, Rico Lews, making his international debut, was harshly judged to have fouled Bojan Miovski inside the box five minutes before the break.

Jumping for the header, the Manchester City youngster’s arm made contact with the striker’s face with the referee awarding the penalty after a VAR review.

Jordan Pickford denied Enis Bardhi from 12 yards but the Trabzonspor midfielder pounced to lash home the equaliser.

Gareth Southgate’s side thought they had levelled the contest just a minute into the second-half with Bukayo Saka jinking past three players to tee up Jack Grealish for a tap-in.

The Man City star appeared to be in an offside position with the goal chalked off after another lengthy check.

With Ollie Watkins enduring a frustrating evening in front of goal, Kane was called upon just before the hour mark and headed home from Phil Foden’s corner kick a minute later. The goal was eventually went down as a Atanasov own goal after a slight deflection.

Marcus Rashford and Cole Palmer were introduced off the bench as England chased a winner but the hosts held on for a well-earned point.

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