Tunisia vs. England - Football Match Report

England boss Gareth Southgate

Roy Hodgson missed a trick.

Captain Harry Kane came to the rescue with two goals, the second a dramatic injury-time victor, as England began their World Cup Group G campaign with a stuttering 2-1 win over Tunisia on Monday (Jun 18).

But England's lead didn't last long.

Harry Kane's stoppage-time victor delivered England's answer to Belgium's earlier win against Panama and gave them their first opening-game win at a major tournament in 12 years. Low expectations for this year's overhauled team were dispelled early in Russian Federation when Kane reacted quickly to score after John Stones' header was saved.

His first World Cup goal was followed by a brilliant second in stoppage time to win the game for England. But what else are captains for? It's true that they controlled the match towards the end. Plus an average age of 25.6.

Ten minutes later, it was the turn of Young to try his luck from a free-kick, but much like his England compatriot, he curled his effort just over the target.

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.

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Even after Kane scored, Young cut back on the left and picked out Lingard with a glorious chipped cross, but the Manchester United man, completely free, did not connect properly.

England enters the 2018 World Cup saddled with baggage and no expectations to fill those bags with. Then they started defending, and things looked shaky.

Sassi equalised with a penalty after Kyle Walker raised an arm on Fakhreddine Ben Youssef as the two tussled in the area, but England were not to be denied as Kane popped up to head a 91st-minute victor.

Was it a harsh decision? We stayed patient, we didn't just throw the ball in the box.

Kane should surely have had two penalties - wrestled to the ground either side of half-time - which begged the question: where was the VAR? They will be given the opportunity to grow into the tournament and, when England have been successful in World Cups - that generally means getting to the quarterfinals or beyond - they have done so by finding some momentum and positivity and tapping into it. It all seemed a bit rich, given the penalty Tunisia had been awarded.

Despite the calm and nice side for which Southgate has a reputation, Rose revealed there is a lot more to the manager than this perception of him.