England secured a 2-1 win against Tunisia in their opening World Cup game, with Harry Kane scoring a brace to seal all three points.
Gareth Southgate’s men took an early lead after a bright start, and it appeared as though they would have their chances to make it comfortable.
However, with Jesse Lingard in particular spurning some great opportunities, they were unable to solidify their advantage and were then pegged back by a Ferjani Sassi penalty before half-time.
Tunisia shored things up at the back as the game progressed and worked desperately hard to hold on for a point, albeit they were fortunate given Kane was on the receiving end of some questionable defending on set-pieces which could have easily been given as penalties.
Frustratingly for England, they weren’t given, but they weren’t to be denied as Kane popped up in injury time to head home from close range and secure all three points to start England’s tournament with a win.
Unsurprisingly, the England captain scores highly in our player ratings, bagging the two important goals to help seal the win, while Tottenham ace Kieran Trippier impressed on the right flank.
Lingard could have matched Kane but for missing several great chances to get on the scoresheet as mentioned above while then going quiet in the second half, although perhaps he does deserves praise too for getting into the right positions.
Nevertheless, he’ll have to start taking those chances and be more ruthless as the tournament progresses.
Question marks could be raised over the back three as they did look a little suspect at times, with Kyle Walker giving away the penalty, while Dele Alli appeared to be battling on with an injury complaint which limited him.
Raheem Sterling was the first player to be substituted after failing to have the desired effect, but England boss Southgate will surely be confident that he’ll see more from the winger before the group stage is over.
For now though, England can be pleased with their win as it sets them on their way with Panama up next on Sunday.
England player ratings: Pickford 6; Walker 5, Maguire 6, Stones 6; Henderson 7, Trippier 7, Lingard 6, Alli 5, Young 6; Sterling 5, Kane 8.
Substitutes: Rashford 6, Loftus Cheek N/A, Dier N/A.
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