FIFA World Cup 2018: Harry Kane's dramatic injury-time winner helps England edge past Tunisia in opening match

England almost paid a heavy price for missing a slew of first-half chances when Tunisia's Ferjani Sassi slotted home a penalty 20 minutes before half-time.

Daniel Hicks June 19, 2018 02:17:15 IST
FIFA World Cup 2018: Harry Kane's dramatic injury-time winner helps England edge past Tunisia in opening match

Volgograd: Captain Harry Kane came to the rescue with two goals, the second a dramatic injury-time winner, as England began their World Cup Group G campaign with a stuttering 2-1 win over Tunisia on Monday.

Gareth Southgate's men almost paid a heavy price for missing a slew of first-half chances when Tunisia's Ferjani Sassi slotted home a softly-awarded penalty 20 minutes before half-time.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Harry Kanes dramatic injurytime winner helps England edge past Tunisia in opening match

Harry Kane celebrates scoring England's winner against Tunisia. Reuters/Sergio Perez

And the north Africans were still level as the game went past the 90-minute mark.

But Harry Maguire won a header from a corner and Kane was on hand at the far post to nod in the winner before being mobbed by his ecstatic teammates.

"I'm so proud of the lads," Kane said. "They kept going, kept going to the last second.

"I am absolutely buzzing, everyone on the staff is. It shows good character to get the job done."

England had started brightly in a blur of passing and movement and could have been two goals up inside the first four minutes.

First Jordan Henderson's lofted first-time pass released Dele Alli and when the ball eventually broke to Jesse Lingard he saw his shot from six yards saved by the outstretched left boot of Mouez Hassen in the Tunisia goal.

Kane had been kept quiet in the opening salvos but he exploded into action in the 11th minute when he cut inside from the left and saw his shot from the edge of the box deflected wide for a corner.

Ashley Young delivered the set piece for John Stones to rise highest and meet with a powerful header. Hassen saved acrobatically but Kane was on hand to tap home the rebound with his right foot and open his World Cup account.

Hassen, who had injured his left shoulder making an earlier save, could not continue and left the field in tears as he was replaced in goal by Farouk Ben Mustapha.

England continued to press and were made to pay for not converting a succession of chances when they conceded a soft penalty.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Harry Kanes dramatic injurytime winner helps England edge past Tunisia in opening match

Statistics from the match between Tunisia and England. AFP

Kyle Walker swung a lazy arm across Fakhreddine Ben Youssef who fell as if poleaxed and Colombian referee Wilmar Roldan pointed to the spot, with his decision being upheld by the VAR.

Ferjani Sassi took one step and fired home confidently past the hitherto unemployed Jordan Pickford and Tunisia who had been outplayed for the first half-hour were somehow level 10 minutes before half-time.

Still there was time for Lingard to come close again twice, first from a goalbound shot and then a dink over the keeper which agonisingly struck the post.

Alli too hit the woodwork with a header and England went into half-time wondering how they had not sealed victory already.

England still enjoyed the lion's share of possession but could not find the same zip and penetration they had enjoyed at the start of the first half.

The ineffective Sterling gave way to Marcus Rashford with just over 20 minutes to go and the Manchester United man almost fashioned a chance straight away with a jinking run into the box.

AFP

Click here for full coverage of FIFA World Cup 2018

Click here to view the full schedule of FIFA World Cup 2018

Click here to view the points table of FIFA World Cup 2018

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Premier League: Tottenham's Harry Kane has 'no problem' with manager Jose Mourinho's style
Sports

Premier League: Tottenham's Harry Kane has 'no problem' with manager Jose Mourinho's style

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane says he has no issue with their style of play under manager Jose Mourinho after scoring their second in Tuesday’s 2-0 Premier League home victory over West Ham United.

Premier League: How Liverpool's three key forces came together to deliver historic title after 30 years
Sports

Premier League: How Liverpool's three key forces came together to deliver historic title after 30 years

It took a while for Liverpool to get the right ingredients, but once they had the recipe, Liverpool FC embarked on an unstoppable, inexorable march of clinical performances that bore witness to their greatness.

Premier League: Harry Kane back scoring for Tottenham in win over West Ham; Leicester draw against Brighton
Sports

Premier League: Harry Kane back scoring for Tottenham in win over West Ham; Leicester draw against Brighton

On his 200th Premier League appearance, Tottenham's Kane scored his first goal of 2020 — after Tomas Soucek's own goal — to complete a 2-0 victory over West Ham on Tuesday