World Cup 2018: England beat Tunisia 2-1

Posted by News Express | 19 June 2018 | 2,716 times

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Harry Kane's stoppage-time winner ensured England started their World Cup campaign with victory after Tunisia threatened to snatch a point in Volgograd.

Kane scored his second goal of the game with a clever header as Gareth Southgate's side recorded England's first win in the opening game of a major tournament since they beat Paraguay in the 2006 World Cup.

England's captain gave them the reward they deserved for a brilliant start by turning in the opener in the 11th minute after Tunisia keeper Mouez Hassen, who went off injured in the first half, clawed out John Stones' header.

England ran Tunisia ragged in that spell but were punished for missing a host of chances when Tunisia's Ferjani Sassi equalised from the penalty spot against the run of play after Kyle Walker was penalised for an elbow on Fakhreddine Ben Youssef.

Tunisia dug in to frustrate England in the second half but Kane was the match-winner with a late header from Harry Maguire's flick, justice being done after referee Wilmar Roldan and the video assistant referee (VAR) had failed to spot him clearly being wrestled to the ground twice in the penalty area.

England play Panama, who lost 3-0 to Belgium earlier on Monday, in their next Group G game on Sunday, which kicks off at 13:00 BST.

Kane rescues wasteful England

England's first-half display contained much to admire but it was a sign of their wastefulness in front of goal that it took the injury-time intervention from Kane to seal victory.

England flew at Tunisia and racked up chance after chance, with only Kane's early goal after Hassen clawed out Stones' header to show for it.

Dele Alli saw a header deflected on to the woodwork, while Jesse Lingard suffered a similar fate as well as seeing Hassen somehow block another effort with an outstretched leg.

Jordan Henderson had a shot saved and other chances were spurned as England fashioned some magnificent approach play only to fail to apply the final flourish.

It was remarkable that Tunisia reached half-time on levels terms as they were often bewildered by England's pace and movement before being spared by their generosity in front of goal.

Luckily for England, they have a world-class striker with a golden touch in Kane, who was coolness personified to carefully direct in the winner.

England can now move on to face Panama in Nizhny Novgorod with confidence and momentum.

Careless England must wise up

England's domination of the first half was almost total, but they somehow contrived to allow Tunisia to raise themselves off the floor by virtue of rank carelessness from Southgate's side.

Maguire was a culprit, conceding possession in dangerous areas in a manner that will be punished ruthlessly by teams with more attacking quality than Tunisia.

While England felt hard done by with Tunisia's penalty, Walker naively got himself into a very poor position.

Ultimately, England did not suffer the ultimate punishment of it costing them points, but they have certainly had an early warning.

Southgate, a defender by trade, will surely have noticed the flaws and will be working hard to address them at England's Zelenogorsk training base.

Captain Kane is able - the stats

  • England scored more than once for the first time in 10 World Cup matches, since a 2-2 draw against Sweden in 2006
  • England are unbeaten in their seven meetings with African nations in the World Cup (W4, D3), although this was only the second such match in which they failed to keep a clean sheet
  • England had six shots on target in the first half, their most in the opening 45 minutes of a World Cup match since the 1966 semi-final against Portugal (also six).
  • Harry Kane has scored in his past four games for England, his best run for the national team.
  • Kane has scored 15 goals in 25 appearances for England. The last player to score more in their opening 25 games for England was Gary Lineker (20).
  • England's Kieran Trippier created six goalscoring opportunities, more than any other player has managed in the tournament.
  • Tunisia's Ferjani Sassi scored the first penalty against England in regular play in a World Cup match since Gabriel Batistuta for Argentina in 1998.
  • Tunisia's converted penalty was their only shot on target in the match.
  • Tunisia are without a win in their past 12 World Cup matches (D4 L8), since winning their first match in the competition in 1978.


Source: News Express

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