A Harry Kane goal in stoppage time gave his team all three points in their home game against Slovenia, securing them mathematically the top spot in the table of the group, and a direct ticket to the World Cup finals.
All is not dreamy though at England, and Gareth Southgate was the first one to acknowledge it.
I think this team has potential, but we’ve got a hell of a lot of work to do. They’ve come here on the back of what happened in the last European Championships, they’ve had the change of coach, they’ve had a lot of difficulties to deal with through the campaign. But we’re there [at the World Cup] and now we build and we look to where we can improve all the time
the England manager said, conscious of the fact that his team will need to improve a lot in order to be considered a serious title contender next June, in Russia.
We played a team who have only conceded four goals in the competition – and you saw why. They defended resolutely, they broke the game up when they had to, they took yellow cards when they had to
Southgate said, explaining why the game proved so hard for England.
We weren’t quite as sharp as we hoped to be with the ball. But we stuck at it and it’s not a coincidence if you keep scoring late goals. Late goals have been key and we knew they [Slovenia] had to win. We changed formation to go two up front at the end
the England manager also said, pointing out that scoring late goals is not down to… luck or… divine intervention.