The Three Lions of England booked their place for the Uefa Euro 2024 in Germany next summer with a 3-1 win over defending champion Italy at the Wembley Stadium on Tuesday.
Jude Bellingham’s masterclass was England’s talisman as the 20-year-old Real Madrid star led the comeback, winning the penalty that brought captain Harry Kane’s equaliser.
Kane scored the equaliser for England in the 32 minute after Gianluca Scamacca had put the defending champions up in 15 minutes of play.
But two goals from Harry Kane, including a penalty, and a Marcus Rashford strike gave Gareth Southgate’s team the victory it needed to secure at least a top-two finish in its group.
“It’s never as easy as it looks,” Kane told Channel 4. “We have had a really tough group this time but credit to the lads, some of the results we’ve had, performances and we topped it off here today. We went 1-0 down, we stayed calm and we stayed steady, we knew we had enough to get the win and we did it.
“It has been a tough journey and to qualify with two games to go is credit to everyone involved,” the Bayern Munich striker added.
The win was England’s first home victory over Italy since November 1977 and completed a double in the group after victory in Naples in March.
England now top of Group C with 16 points, while the defeat means Italy are third and will play Ukraine in their final qualifier in what will be a decisive match to determine who finishes second.