England need late Harry Kane winner to see off Tunisia

Harry Kane scored a stoppage-time winner as England defeated Tunisia 2-1 in their opening game of the World Cup.

England started electrically and were ahead through Kane after just 11 minutes but a Ferjani Sassi penalty drew the teams level.

That is the way it stayed until the very end when Kane popped up again to give England the win.

England could have been ahead twice in the first four minutes. First, Jesse Lingard forced a superb save from Mouez Hassen from eight yards before Raheem Sterling somehow put the ball wide after a good ball in by Lingard. Hassen injured himself while coming out to challenge Lingard and was eventually replaced by Farouk Ben Mustapha.

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Kane opened the scoring in the 11th minute, and it was no less than England deserved. An Ashley Young corner found John Stones and Hassen could only palm the header away to Kane who finished from close range.

Kieran Trippier impressed on his World Cup debut and nearly created England’s second. His cutback went between Kane and Dele Alli and ended up at the feet of Jordan Henderson whose 25-yarder was saved by substitute goalkeeper Ben Mustapha.

England would be made to rue their missed early chances. Their next fell to Lingard but he was crowded out and fired wide.

Ferjani Sassi had Tunisia’s first chance of the match when he caught Harry Maguire in possession but his shot was deflected wide.

Tunisia levelled 10 minutes before the break after Fakhreddine Ben Youssef went down after Kyle Walker caught him with an arm. Sassi stepped up to direct the ball into the bottom left corner.

England nearly regained the lead immediately, though. A free-kick came in which Alli headed onto the crossbar and John Stones could not control the rebound.

Kane thought he had won a penalty after the restart when he appeared to be brought down at a free-kick but the referee waved play on. Replays suggested a penalty should have been given but VAR was not used.

England lacked the intensity they showed in the first half and failed to threaten a deep Tunisia defence for most of the second half.

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Trippier went close from a free kick and Ruben Loftus-Cheek came off the bench in an attempt to add a bit of urgency to the England attack.

Loftus-Cheek nearly set up a second England goal but his pass was dummied by Marcus Rashford when he really should have shot.

England finally got the breakthrough in the 91st minute, and it was that man Kane to come to the rescue with a header at the far post to give the Three Lions the win.

Cover Photo: FIFA World Cup 2014 by Mariya Butd used under license by CC BY 2.0.

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