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08th Sep 2018

Harry Kane lays into referee after farcical decision to disallow England equaliser

The England captain claimed the referee had "bottled it" when he chose to disallow a late goal from Danny Welbeck that would have levelled the score

Reuben Pinder

England were harshly robbed of a late equaliser against Spain

Spain emerged victorious tonight, beating England 2-1 at Wembley both team’s first match in the UEFA Nations League. But it could have been different, as England were denied a late equaliser after the referee judged Danny Welbeck to have fouled David De Gea, despite appearing to make no movement towards him or the ball.

Speaking to Sky cameras after the match, England captain Harry Kane was critical of the referee’s decision not to award the goal, claiming that he had “bottled it”.

“In those big moments you need a ref to stay strong and unfortunately he’s bottled it. Danny [Welbeck] just stood there, De Gea’s gone up and caught the ball and landed on top of Danny,” Kane said.

“Somehow the referee’s given a foul.”

Had the equaliser been given, it would have been a fair reward for England’s improved second half performance, Kane believes, despite having less of the ball than Spain.

“We were disappointed to finish that way; I thought we played well, especially in the second half,” said the England captain.

England took the lead early in the first half through Marcus Rashford, who latched onto the end of a fizzing cross from Luke Shaw.

Spain responded quickly, equalising through Saúl and taking the lead through Rodrigo minutes later and going into the break 2-1 up. The second half was goalless and tainted by Luke Shaw’s injury and Danny Welbeck’s disallowed goal.