Harry Kane nets hat trick as England cruise to 5-0 victory, edge closer to World Cup qualification

Striker Harry Kane scored a hat trick, including a spectacular overhead kick, as England cruised to a 5-0 victory over Albania at Wembley Stadium on Friday and edged closer to qualification for the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

Manager Gareth Southgate's side would have qualified had Poland dropped points against Andorra, but Friday's result means a draw in their next match against San Marino on Monday will be enough to seal their place at next year's tournament.

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Defender Harry Maguire opened the scoring on nine minutes with a powerful headed strike before celebrating by putting his fingers in his ears.

Kane netted his first of the night shortly after with a tap-in header from inside the six-yard box following a floated cross from midfielder Jordan Henderson. The Liverpool captain then added one of his own minutes later as he jinxed past multiple Albanian defenders before slotting the ball past goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha.

Kane doubled his tally on 33 minutes, firing home after a swift layoff from winger Raheem Sterling, before a sealing a historic hat trick with a superb overhead kick on the stroke of half-time that moves him level with England legend Jimmy Greaves as the side's fourth all-time leading scorer.

The 28-year-old now has 44 goals for England alongside Greaves, who died in September aged 81. Wayne Rooney remains the country's record scorer with 53 goals.

"The first half was an incredible performance. The pressure was on and we needed a result," Kane, who has scored 12 goals for England this calendar year, said.

"Maybe we had a point to prove and we came out on fire."

Kane's performance on Friday was England's first 'perfect hat-trick' -- a header, left-foot and right-foot goals -- since David Platt accomplished the feat in 1993.

"I thought Harry gave a brilliant centre forward's performance -- held the ball up, played other people in. His all-round game was excellent," Southgate said.

Both teams stood for a moment silence before kick-off in tribute to Ron Flowers, a member of England's 1966 World Cup-winning squad who died on Friday at the age of 87.

Information from Reuters contributed to this report.