England’s European Championship qualifying campaign came to an end on Monday with a scrappy 1-1 draw in North Macedonia, but captain Harry Kane claimed the team had much to be proud of after topping their group and finishing six points ahead of Italy.
England qualified for next year’s Euro 2024 finals in Germany with two games to spare, and the draw on Monday ensured that they finished Group C unblemished.
In Skopje, Gareth Southgate’s side fell behind after debutant Rico Lewis was penalized for a foul inside the box, and Enis Bardhi scored on the rebound after his penalty was saved.
They equalized in the second half thanks to an own goal by Jani Atanasov.
“Difficult game; we knew it would be, and it was tough against a decent side playing on a pitch that is difficult to play our style of football on,” Kane, who came on in the second half, told reporters.
“If anyone was going to get a second (goal), it was us. We can be really proud of how the qualifying campaign has gone.”
Complete back Kyle Walker, who took the captain’s armband for the first time, believes England should have won.
“It’s been a short week—two games when we’ve already qualified,” he added. “It’s no excuse; we know we should be taking three points from here, but it’s something to work on for the future.”