Harry Kane reacts to getting booked for diving in England’s win over Malta

Referee Luis Godinho shockingly gave a yellow card to Harry Kane of England for simulation (Photo: Getty)

Harry Kane says he was ‘surprised’ to get booked for ‘diving’ in England’s win over Malta, but has played down the incident.

The Three Lions put in a lacklustre performance against a spirited Malta side, but still managed to win 2-0 in a dead rubber of a Euro 2024 qualifier.

There were some contentious refereeing decisions throughout the match, with Declan Rice having a fantastic goal ruled out due to Kane supposedly interfering with play from an offside position.

The most notable incident occurred in the first-half however, when Kane was fouled in the box by goalkeeper Henry Bonello, but instead of awarding a penalty, referee Luis Miguel Branco Godinho showed a yellow card to the England captain for simulation.

Players and fans at Wembley were left baffled by the decision to book him, though whether it was a spot-kick is still up for debate.

Asked about the matter post-match, Kane didn’t seem to mind too much, telling BBC Radio 5 Live: ‘I was surprised it didn’t get overturned but the referee has made his decision.

‘Sometimes the VAR doesn’t want to interfere too much but it is what it is. That’s football and it’s part of the game.

‘I am just focused on the fact we won and hopefully, that secures us as top seed for next summer.’

It was a poor game from England, especially given their lowly opposition, a fact that Kane, who scored the second goal of the night, acknowledges.

‘It was not our finest performance, let’s say, but sometimes you play a team who have got more quality than people think,’ the Bayern Munich striker added.

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‘At the start of the game, we missed the right tempo. We were sloppy and we couldn’t quite build. In the second half we had more control and created chances. But overall, it’s a 2-0 win.

‘I think we are playing a lot of games at the moment. We have some injuries as well and the players coming in have to perform.

‘All the players today who started weren’t at their usual standard but that’s football. We maybe felt mental fatigue a little bit. We are top of the group and we have one game and hopefully, we finish it with a win.’

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