World Cup has already seen several upsets when the likes of Brazil, Argentina and Spain failed to clinch victories in their opening fixtures whereas reigning Champions Germany suffered a shocking defeat to Mexico on Sunday evening. England, the underperformers in recent years, have traveled to Russia with youngest ever squad and the youthful Three Lions were favorites to clinch a victory over injury-riddled minnows Tunisia and they did so in the hard way when skipper Harry Kane scored an injury-time winner to restore his first-half lead and clinch a 2-1 victory in their maiden group league outing.
England, as expected, started the game brightly and kept on testing the Tunisians to find an opener. Jesse Lingard’s effort was sensationally stopped by Mouez Hassen, the Eagles custodian, who kept Harry Maguire’s header out minutes later but failed to stop skipper Harry Kane tapping in from close range. Hassen injured himself in the process and got replaced by his deputy Farouk Ben Mustapha. The Three Lions could have gone further ahead but missed their chances and the Africans kept waiting for opportunities. They finally had one when Kyle Walker conceded a spot-kick and Ferjani Sassi made no mistake to equalize from the spot, hence, registered the first African goal of the tournament. England had a few glorious chances late in the first half but failed to convert. The first half ended all square at Volgograd Stadium.
The Three Lions were tipped to show more urgency after the break to restore their lead at the earliest. However, it proved to quite the opposite as the Englishmen failed to cause enough menace in Tunisia box. The minnows, on the other hand, seemed more confident when they had the ball and also maintained composure. But a late heartbreak was waiting for the Eagles when Trippier’s corner was headed into the path of Harry Kane by Harry Maguire and the skipper made no mistake to double the lead and guide his nation to clinch a scrappy yet crucial win.
Tunisia: Mouez Hassen (Farouk Ben Mu.stapha 15′), Yassine Meriah, Syam Ben Youssef, Aki Maaloui, Ellyes Skhiri, Anice Badri, Ferjani Sassi, Fakhreddine Ben Youssef, Naim Sliti (Mohamed Ben Amor 74′), Wahbi Khazri (Saber Khalifa 85′).
England: Jordan Pickford, Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire, Jordan Henderson, Kieran Trippier, Jesse Lingard (Eric Dier 90’+), Dele Alli (Ruben Loftus-Cheek 79′), Ashley Young, Raheem Sterling (Marcus Rashford 68′), Harry Kane.
Tunisia vs England Highlights:
Tunisia vs England Match Stats:
|Shots (on Target)||6(1)||18(8)|