A 'massive victory' is Kane take

England captain Harry Kane scored twice including a stoppage-time winner as he led his side to a last-gasp 2-1 win over Tunisia in their opening World Cup match on Monday.

  • Published 19.06.18
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Harry Kane after scoring the winner against Tunisia in Volgograd on Monday. (Reuters)

Volgograd: England captain Harry Kane scored twice including a stoppage-time winner as he led his side to a last-gasp 2-1 win over Tunisia in their opening World Cup match on Monday.

Kane stooped at the far post to turn in a header in the 91st minute just when it looked like England were going to extend their disappointing run in World Cup tournaments.

Kane had put England ahead in the 11th minute of the Group G game when Tunisia keeper Mouez Hassen could only palm a strong header by John Stones on to the foot of the striker.

England promised to launch their campaign with attacking football and they tore into Tunisia before and after Kane's opener, creating a string of chances only to be let down by a lack of composure in front of goal.

They paid the price when the North Africans were awarded a penalty before the break.

England defender Kyle Walker swung an arm behind him and caught Fakhreddine Ben Youssef in the face and Colombia referee Wilmar Roldan pointed to the spot.

Ferjani Sassi, after appearing to whisper a prayer to himself, scored low to the right of England keeper Jordan Pickford to equalise.

After the break, England struggled to maintain the intensity of the opening period and Tunisia looked more comfortable as they contained their opponents' attack until Kane's winner.

From a Kieran Trippier corner, a glancing header from Harry Maguire found Kane at the back post and he cleverly nodded home to give England a winning start.

The result means Belgium top Group G on goal difference after a 3-0 over World Cup debutants Panama earlier on Monday.

England had a legitimate case for a spot-kick at the other end when Kane was bundled over in the box as Alli headed against the crossbar.

Southgate's men will have been frustrated by their profligacy, Lingard latching on to a ball over the top and knocking it past Ben Mustapha, only to see it trickle onto the post and wide.

Kane had another appeal for a penalty waved away within five minutes of the restart as he was impeded by a pair of Tunisia players at a corner, but the rate at which England appeared to run out of gas was alarming.

Later on, Kane hailed their 2-1 victory over Tunisia as "massive". "It's a massive victory. I am so proud of the lads. We kept going. We spoke a lot about togetherness and we've got a great bond together," Kane said.

"There were a lot of decisions against us and maybe there was a bit of justice at the end. That's the World Cup. It's tough."

After Belgium thrashed Panama 3-0 in the other Group G game on Monday, the pressure was on England to deliver only their second win in their last nine games at World Cups.

"It's a massive boost, a massive bonus, we kept going. We kept fighting and got the late goal and a big win," England midfielder Jordan Henderson said.

"I felt positive at 1-1, the pace did drop off a bit. We had to keep creating chances, we didn't play as well second half but they defended deep. Winning the first game is always massive."

England manager Gareth Southgate was delighted with his team. "I think we deserved the win," he said.

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