Kane relief as last-gasp England escape with Tunisia win


Harry Kane celebrates scoring England's first goal in their 2-1 win against Tunisia.

After months of solid preparation, Gareth Southgate's England begin their 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign with a Group G clash against Tunisia on Monday night - here's how the teams will line up.

"They [Tunisia] were highly disciplined in terms of our tactics and very strong up to 90 minutes before we conceded the second goal".

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"If he hadn't scored, I'd be answering questions about his ability to score in tournament football", said Southgate, nearly exhausted of people doubting Kane's ability. We could have scored more. The rhythm and zeal of the opening stages was long gone, replaced by the ambling neurosis of a team going through what it has done countless times before. "He is the optimal striker", said Maaloul. We spoke a lot about togetherness.

England is all set to cross swords with Panama in their next Group G game on June 24.

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The midfield configuration certainly didn't play to Tunisia's key strength, while it also came to their detriment both defensively and offensively.

Tunisia's physical approach made life tough for England but Kane was pleased with England's response.

Defender Kyle Walker swung an arm behind him, catching Fakhreddine Ben Youssef in the face, and Colombian referee Wilmar Roldan pointed to the spot.

England will be very confident of beating Panama - who qualified for just their first World Cup this summer - but Kane is expecting a very hard match.

England had penalty claims of their own turned down before struggling to maintain their intensity after halftime. It was after this moment that England started to look sloppy at the back with Tunisia creating a few more chances after this.

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.

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"I was a bit disappointed by the referee not saying anything on corners, I couldn't get them off me", Kane said. "At the end the pressure built and built". It shows good character to get on with it and that's what we've done.

England fans from London to Volgograd watched their team take an early lead before Tunisia pegged them back from the penalty spot as Gareth Southgate's side got their World Cup campaign underway in Russian Federation.

Twitter was on fire as England managed to win their opening match in Russian Federation.

"Then Kane popped up and scored, but I hope that doesn't cover over the cracks". I'm so proud of the lads.

The Liverpool skipper said: "We can be friends off the field but when you're on the field it's important that you're fighting for your mate next to you".

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