Harry Kane was described by England manager Gareth Southgate as "the best goalscorer in the world" after his dramatic winner against Croatia earned his side a Nations League Finals berth.
Kane's late impact turned Sunday's Group 4 meeting at Wembley on its head, the England captain involved in substitute Jesse Lingard's equaliser before scoring the 85th-minute winner himself from close range.
England will now compete with Portugal and two other teams, who are yet to be decided, for the inaugural Nations League crown at the end of the domestic season.
Kane had not scored for England since the World Cup, where his six goals earned the Golden Boot but some flat performances in the knockout rounds saw Southgate criticised for not resting the striker.
However, a proud Southgate made it clear Kane's importance to England cannot be underestimated after the Three Lions gained a measure of revenge for their extra-time World Cup semi-final loss by relegating Croatia to League B.
"I think Harry is the best goalscorer in the world frankly so you're always loathe to take a player of his ability off," Southgate told a news conference.
"Some people question decisions in the summer but he's our main penalty taker and our leader.
"In 98 per cent of games his hold up play and everything is critical, he played a fantastic pass for Raheem [Sterling] in the first half.
"So we have huge belief in him and he is so hungry to lead the team further."
Kane proved his class in the final third but, Andrej Kramaric's deflected opener aside, England also impressed at the back, with inexperienced defenders Joe Gomez and Ben Chilwell earning Southgate's praise along with teenage winger Jadon Sancho, who came off the bench.
"I think we knew to keep the hunger and challenge - there were things for us to talk about but you need competition for places," Southgate added.
"We knew the level of our young players and we looked at Ben ahead of the summer and thought he was not quite ready but he started the season really well with Leicester.
"The younger ones have emerged so quick, Sancho so quickly an option from the bench, but we know the quality of the players. Gomez would have probably come with us in the summer [to the World Cup] had he been fit.
"We're not afraid to put in a 21 and a 22-year-old at the back today. It's easier to gamble on young forwards but those guys have been good enough with great quality and they'll only improve with these experiences."
Southgate and his squad can now look forward to competing for England's first major international silverware since their only World Cup triumph in 1966.
"I am hugely proud of all the players and the staff because we've grown together and improved every step," he added. "I think today was another big occasion, a big experience, plenty of pressure and expectation on the game but they coped well.
"In the first half we played so well and had good chances, second half we had to show another side and show character. We had five to 10 minutes after they scored with counter-attacks.
"I said to TV, we may be a new England but we scored from a long throw and a wide free-kick so maybe nothing changes!
"The connection with fans is so pleasing for me as I've not heard Wembley like that for years. We've give them some big days and nights this year and their energy helped us to get over the line in the big moments.
"Next year looks exciting to look forward to and all the players want to come with us, young players are desperate to be a part of it. The feeling round the team is powerful and we have to build on it."
18 de enero 2019
|Injury-hit Madrid lose Navas to adductor issue|
|Patriots coach Belichick still gets nervous ´every week´|
|Copa del Rey draw: Barcelona to meet Sevilla in quarter-finals|
|Kohli: No one more committed to India than Dhoni|
|Brook questions Khan credibility following Crawford agreement|
|Sad Pochettino admits Bielsa is ´wrong´|
|Simeone eyes LaLiga gain after Atletico´s Copa del Rey pain|
|Rossi a no-go for Tottenham as Pochettino rules out panic buys|
|Guardiola identifies ´three or four´ midfield targets|
|Nadal encourages patience in young stars after humbling De Minaur|
|NFL playoffs 2019: 10 Opta facts for Patriots v Chiefs|
|Robertson helping Klopp learn Scottish for Dalglish chats|
|Levante appeal over alleged ineligible Barcelona player rejected|
|NFL Playoffs 2019: 10 Opta facts for Rams v Saints|
|Lowry to take three-shot Abu Dhabi lead into final round|
|Training is not for anyone else - Klopp condemns Bielsa over ´spygate´ row|
|In other countries, everybody does it - Guardiola respect remains for spying Bielsa|
|Cilic battles back to join Nadal, Federer in fourth round|
|Klopp: Trent unbelievable for playing through pain|
|Faulkner provides super start and fabulous finish to sink Scorchers|
|Ref admits error in key foul call on Lonzo Ball in Lakers-Thunder game|
|Marina Granovskaia is working very hard – Sarri ´confident´ of January signings|
|Tuchel confirms Rabiot out of PSG contention|
|Madrid derby kick-off confirmed for February 9|
|Benzema fit to face Sevilla despite broken finger, Solari confirms|
|Bournemouth boss Howe says no offers received for Wilson|
|Kerber cruises after Wozniacki, Sabalenka upsets|
|Mbappe a great player and great person, says beaming Beckham|
|Gracia confident someone will step up if Doucoure leaves for PSG|
|Albrighton signs new Leicester deal|
|Niasse joins Cardiff on loan from Everton|
|Hendrick credited with Fulham strike|
|Western Sydney Wanderers 1 Adelaide United 2: Goodwin compounds Wanderers woes|
|Chahal and Dhoni carry India to ODI triumph|
|Levante report Barcelona for alleged use of ineligible player in Copa del Rey|
|Solskjaer regrets Sanchez´s Reading setback|
|Tomic brands Hewitt a ´liar´ as feud continues|
|Ruthless Nadal thrashes teenager De Minaur|
|Wozniacki enjoyed status as defending champion in Melbourne|
|Solskjaer backs Mourinho to return to football´s big time|
|Murray to miss Open 13 Marseille|
|Solskjaer´s United turnaround no easy task, says Hughton|
|The big Friday Premier League quiz|
|How James Harden´s 2018-19 numbers compare to his MVP campaign|
|It´s insane! - Tsitsipas excited to face ´legend´ Federer|
|Sharapova ends Wozniacki title defence|
|American teen Anisimova sends records tumbling at Aus Open|
|Lakers survive Ball´s gaffe to beat Thunder in OT|
|Federer expects ´athletic´ and ´attacking´ Tsitsipas clash|
|Alcacer is fit and available – Favre|
|Fantastic Federer breezes past Fritz|
|Pogba happy with Man United approach under Solskjaer|
|Mickelson leads Desert Classic, ties career-low with 12-under 60|
|Warriors´ Durant on Curry: He´s a once-in-a-generation, once-in-a-lifetime talent|
|Patriots owner says Brady is greatest player, not just quarterback, of all time|
|Inglis to retire from representative duty this year, NRL in 2020|
|Is Beal better without Wall? Wizards star says it´s ´absolutely nonsense´|
|Rockets C Capela undergoes thumb surgery, expected back after All-Star break|
|This Week in U.S. Sports: Irving apologises, Machado´s agent isn´t happy|
|Knicks in woeful shape, but 2019 could still be bright in New York|
|Valverde not worried about Levante´s Copa appeal|
|Nowell an option for England at flanker, reveals Jones|
|Pellegrini: Arnautovic available for the right price|
|Knicks throw away 19-point lead and lose on last-second goaltending call|
|Tebow invited back to Mets´ major league spring training|
17 de enero 2019
|Canelo and Jacobs agree unification fight|
|Barcelona 3 Levante 0 (4-2 agg): Dembele at the double as Barca advance|
|Levante to lodge complaint over Barcelona Copa selection|
|Kanter´s London absence ´very unfortunate´, says NBA commissioner|
|NBA could swap London for Paris in 2020|