HARRY KANE moved above Gary Lineker in the all-time England goalscoring record list as England struggled past Switzerland at Wembley.
Breel Embolo headed in the opener for the Swiss in the 22nd minute before Luke Shaw fired home on the stroke of half-time – his first goal since the Euro 2020 final.
Harry Kane scored the winning goal for England against Switzerland from the penalty spotCredit: Reuters
Tottenham striker Kane has moved level with Bobby Charlton on 49 international goalsCredit: Paul Marriott
VAR then came to the rescue of the Three Lions with Gareth Southgate’s men struggling to break down the resilient visitors as Kane scored from the spot with 12 minutes remaining after a handball shout.
Kane now has 49 goals in 68 games in an England shirt – one more than Lineker and level with Sir Bobby Charlton.
Only Wayne Rooney – on 53 goals – now stands in his way of getting top spot, and the Tottenham striker can shorten that gap further against Ivory Coast on Tuesday.
England were forced into a late change in defence with John Stones picking up an injury in the warm-up – Ben White stepped in to the back three to earn just his third cap.
Switzerland striker Breel Embolo put the visitors ahead with a fine header in the 22nd minuteCredit: EPA
England left-back Luke Shaw levelled up the scoring with a fine strike in first half stoppage timeCredit: Reuters
Debutants Marc Guehi and Kyle Walker-Peters also featured from the off at centre-back and wing-back respectively in a backline lacking in experience at international level.
That told early on as Southgate watched his five-man defence struggle with Walker-Peters and Shaw never high enough to influence a counter attack.
But the real issues came in midfield – Jordan Henderson tasked with operating in the ‘Declan Rice Role’ by holding the fort while Conor Gallagher galloped forward.
The impressive Gallagher started brightly, cutting inside early on and curling an effort towards the back post before seeing it headed away.
Yet Henderson was failing to impose himself on a Swiss midfield growing in confidence.
Granit Xhaka had a long-range effort tipped away by Jordan Pickford.
And then came the opener in the 22nd minute. Xherdan Shaqiri given time and space outside the box to dink a cross towards the far post.
Embolo snuck in between Walker-Peters and White to head back across Pickford and in.
The hosts were looking uncharacteristically jittery at the back, and lacking ideas in attack.
They had Pickford to thank for not going 2-0 down – producing a stunning reflex save to tip Fabian Frei’s half volley onto the bar from a corner.
Ricardo Rodriguez’s swerving effort then almost caught out Pickford before Embolo swiped his rebound attempt wide.
Embolo put Switzerland in front after getting on the end of Xherdan Shaqiri’s fine crossCredit: EPA
Shaw wheeled away in delight after scoring his first international goal since the Euro 2020 finalCredit: Getty
Jordan Pickford made a great save to deny Fabian Frei when the scoreline was at 1-0Credit: Reuters
England – other than Walker-Peters hitting the post before Foden was pulled back for offside – were hanging on, relying on some luck to get back into this game, which they duly got in first half injury time.
A hopeful long ball forward by Henderson was chased down by Phil Foden.
Frei’s attempted clearance is cut out by Walker-Peters and Gallagher squared for Mason Mount.
Too hard for Mount, but an onrushing Shaw thumped home, bringing back memories of his stunning early effort past Italy’s Gianluigi Donnarumma last July.
England began the second half more direct and with more purpose – Gallagher slipping Kane down the right but Jonas Omlin met him well. Conor Coady then went close from the resulting corner.
A second half resurgence from the Swiss was nowhere to be seen as Southgate shuffled the pack on the hour mark – switching to a 4-2-3-1.
England showed their support to Ukraine ahead of the friendly clash at WembleyCredit: AFP
Marc Guehi and Kyle Walker-Peters started for England as they made their senior debutsCredit: Getty
Rice, Raheem Sterling and Jack Grealish all coming on alongside Tyrick Mitchell for his senior debut – not that it had much impact on the side’s fluidity and ability on the ball.
Another slice of good fortune was needed, and that came via a bizarre VAR check as Guehi’s header appeared to hit an outstretched arm of Steven Zuber.
Kane finally got his chance to jump above Lineker and he made no mistake from the spot in the 78th minute.
Crystal Palace full-back Tyrick Mitchell came off the bench to make his Three Lions debutCredit: Getty