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Harry Kane's role in England's opening Euro 2020 goal has gone unnoticed until one eagle-eyed fan pointed out the captain's incredibly clever movement against Croatia.
Kalvin Phillips' run and pass made the goal, while Raheem Sterling supplied the finish. But Kane absolutely helps create the space for Sterling with a decoy run away from goal that pulls Croatia's defence wide open.
The Tottenham striker had a frustrating game overall, but it's clear his elite intelligence and selfless forward play helped England earn their vital breakthrough in the 1-0 win.
Phillips was the best player on the pitch on Sunday afternoon as he bossed the midfield battle. Sterling meanwhile snatched at several shots, but was lively throughout and took his big chance when it mattered.
However he would not have got that opportunity had Kane not created an opening for him to exploit by pulling Domagoj Vida out of position.
The whole game was filled with moments like this but you can guarantee idiots will be repeating the "kAnE dId NoThInG" nonsense. https://t.co/ORriYupjkq- Ends In 1 (@In1Ends) June 13, 2021
That entire sequence was created by Kane pulling the defender away- :white_flower: (@Spencer200003) June 14, 2021
He's such an intelligent player https://t.co/jwjDrWkgIa
Genuinely think things like this, dummies etc could/should be a stat in a few years https://t.co/xkcyxOvxdp- Max (@LettersAndShit) June 14, 2021
People that can't acknowledge that off the ball runs can sometimes be as important as the assist have 0 ball knowledge https://t.co/Q3Bfy4Nva3- Haneeka (@Haneeka_) June 13, 2021
That moment aside, Kane had one of his quietest games for England. The 2018 World Cup Golden Boot winner didn't really have a strong scoring chance of his own and, when he dropped deep, his link-up play wasn't of its usual excellent standard.
The second half saw Kane collide painfully with the post when trying to get on the end of Mason Mount's ball across the box.
He was eventually substituted for Jude Bellingham on 82 minutes, as Gareth Southgate looked to save his skipper's legs and protect the one-goal lead.
But while Kane did not deliver an eye-catching display, he clearly worked tirelessly and performed a thankless role in the goal that gave England a deserved victory.
Proof one again that you can't reduce everything in football to just goal and assist stats.
All imagery: PA Images/Twitter
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