England beat Tunisia in their opening game of Group G 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia as their record against African teams on the global stage remains intact.
Harry Kane scored twice to overcome resilient North African side at the Volgograd Arena.
The centre forward’s 11 minute goal following a rebound was made fruitless when England conceded a penalty which Al-Nassr midfielder Ferjani Sassi converted to bring Tunisia in terms 24 minutes later.
After 55 minutes of frustrations and goalless–ness, Kane proved worth when he exposed an African weakness of losing the battle in the last minute from set piece situation.
Following Trippier’s corner, the English captain well positioned after beating Tunisian defender Ben Mustapha met with Harry Maguire’s header before heading in the winner which becomes England’s fourth victory against an African nation in the nine meetings in which the rest were draws.
Gareth Southgate is excited for the win because of the surprises the Russia edition of World Cup has presented to powerhouses where favorites such as Argentina and Germany suffered defeats and endured draws respectively
The humorous England coach says good teams score late goals and according to him, it’s intentional scoring late.
“Even though the clock was running down, we stayed patient. We waited for opportunities. We made so many clear-cut chances in the first half. We were strong on set plays in the second half. Even if we had drawn the game I would have been proud of us. We’ll do well to make as many in a game in this tournament. Good teams score late goals. If you pass like that the opposition tire. It’s a night where it’s difficult to highlight individuals because it was a collective. The squad has been brilliant. The subs came on and it was great to have the impact they did. We felt that Raheem and Dele had caused huge problems for the opposition but maybe it was a good moment to put on a different threat. We’ve given ourselves a great platform to build from. There’s so much to be pleased about. But there’s a lot to work on. Panama will be a tough test in a different way. We’ve got to keep performing. Harry’s a top, top striker. I’m delighted for him because if he doesn’t score tonight it’d be questions about him not scoring in tournaments.”
England consequently claims three maximum points as Belgium who beat Panama three nil, but is second on the table because of goal difference.