International Soccer

Harry Kane opens up on ‘new experience’ of watching England penalty shootout

Harry Kane insisted he felt relaxed during England’s penalty shootout win against Switzerland despite having to watch on from the bench.

England’s all-time leading goalscorer Kane is often one of the first names fans think of when they envisage penalty takers. But in their Euro 2024 quarter-final against Switzerland on Saturday, the Bayern Munich star could do nothing but sit back and place trust in his teammates to prevail.

Kane was brought off in extra-time to make way for Ivan Toney after picking up a knock. But as it turned out, the Three Lions didn’t miss their captain and they prevailed 5-3 on spot kicks.

The England captain has admitted he felt ‘calm’ during the shootout, despite his helpless vantage-point.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ivan Toney, Jordan Pickfor

England won on penalties to secure a spot in the semi-final / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

“It was a new experience for sure but I was actually really calm,” Kane said. “I see the way we prepare, I see the players on the pitch, we have got a lot of players who have taken penalties now and in high-pressure situations and take them for their clubs as well.

“I just think in those moments it is down to preparation, handling the situation, who can do that the best and who can execute when it really matters. You saw all the boys stepping up, plus [Jordan] Pickford and I’m really proud of them.”

In place of Kane, Cole Palmer, Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka, Toney and Trent Alexander-Arnold all stepped up to take a penalty for their country. Each England star found the back of the net, while Pickford denied Manuel Akanji’s opening effort for Switzerland.

England’s success means they will face the Netherlands in the semi-finals of Euro 2024 on Wednesday 10 July. They will hope to make successive finals of European Championships for the first time in the country’s history.

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