LONDON ⸺ Harry Kane helped Tottenham Hotspur close in on a place in the Europa League quarter-finals as he scored both goals in a 2-0 home victory over Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday.
The England captain was in the right place to convert a rebound in the 25th minute and he gave his side some insurance to take to Croatia next week with a second after the break.
It was an efficient display from Jose Mourinho’s side as they claimed a fifth successive win in all competitions.
A hard-working Dinamo, who had won their last six matches in the competition, could have made a dream start when Mislav Orsic ran through on goal in the opening minute but shot tamely.
After that Tottenham were generally in command with Kane’s 25th and 26th goals of the season enough to make them firm favourites to reach the last eight.
The only worry for Tottenham, who face Arsenal in the north London derby on Sunday, was the sight of Kane having an ice pack applied to his knee after he was substituted late on.
Mourinho made seven changes to the side that beat Crystal Palace in the Premier League last weekend but there was never any doubt that talisman Kane would start.
The Tottenham manager has made no secret of his desire to win the competition, a feat he managed with Manchester United in 2017, and with Kane so prolific they have every chance.
“He is just enjoying his football. As we can see he attracts the ball,” Spurs keeper and captain Hugo Lloris said.
“(Erik) Lamela made an amazing job for the first goal and Harry was there at the right time to score. His second gives some relief to the team before the second leg.”
Tottenham could make little impression in the early stages but inevitably it was Kane who broke the deadlock, although it was Lamela who was the instigator.
The Argentine jinked his way into the area before clipping a shot with the outside of his right foot against the post, the ball rebounding to Kane who made no mistake.
Dinamo showed enough to suggest they could be a handful in the second leg, not least when Bruno Petkovic wasted a great chance on the hour when he shot wide.
Mourinho made a triple substitution with Gareth Bale, Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura all coming on.
Bale made an immediate impact with a glorious cross to Bergwijn whose volley was saved by Dominik Livakovic.
Kane showed his poacher instinct again in the 70th minute when Dinamo defender Kevin Theophile-Catherine made a hash of an attempted clearance and was punished as the striker took a couple of touches before drilling low into the corner.
Tottenham could have won by more with Bale stinging Livakovic’s fingers with a dipping free kick.
Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar; Reuters