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Two-goal Kane gives England 2-1 World Cup opening victory over Tunisia in Volgograd

18 Jun, 2018 19:58
Two-goal Kane gives England 2-1 World Cup opening victory over Tunisia in Volgograd
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/ Reuters

England claimed an opening game World Cup victory after a double from captain Harry Kane gave them a 2-1 win against Tunisia in Volgograd.

Kane turned in a header in second-half injury time after Tunisia had earlier canceled out his 11th-minute goal with the Group G rivals appearing destined for draw.  

England started with vigor in Volgograd, and Kane gave England the lead their early dominance deserved when he turned home after Tunisia goalkeeper Mouez Hassen could only palm away a John Stones shot into his path.

That came after England spurned two golden chances in a bright opening five minutes, when Jesse Lingard saw his shot saved and Raheem Sterling somehow turned wide with the goal at his mercy just moments later.  

Much had been made of the midge insects invading Volgograd during the day, and England continued their flying start with Henderson testing new keeper Farouk Ben Mustapha, who had replaced the injured Mouez Hassen shortly after the England goal.

Tunisia grew into the game, however, and had a shot through Sassi just before half an hour when Harry Maguire was caught on the ball.

Their breakthrough came in controversial circumstances on 35 minutes, when Kyle Walker was adjudged to have elbowed Fakhreddine Ben Youssef in the box. The Tunisian appeared to make the most of it, but it wasn’t overturned by the VAR and Ferjani Sassi stuck the spot-kick past a diving Jordan Pickford.

England pressed to restore their lead just before half-time, with Lingard hitting the post after he poked the ball past onrushing Tunisia goalkeeper Ben Mustapha.

Kane and Harry Maguire both appeared to be wrestled to the ground during corners in the second half, prompting questions as to why VAR was not being called into more use.

Tunisia started the second-half brightly and seemed set for a memorable draw, but ran out of steam as England pressed in the closing stages. 

The pressure paid off when goal king Kane was left unmarked at the back post in injury time and nodded home to give England an opening game win on the banks of the Volga.