Harry Kane scores late winner to give England 2-1 victory over Tunisia in World Cup opener

England got off to a quick start in Volgograd as Kane opened his account after just 11 minutes, tapping home after Tunisian goalkeeper Mouez Hassen pulled off an acrobatic save to deny John Stones.

The Three Lions kicked into gear and came close several times, with Raheem Sterling missing a sitter and Hassen pulling off another stunning stop to prevent Jesse Lingard putting England two ahead.

But Tunisia were gifted a way back into the game on 35 minutes, as Kyle Walker caught Ben Youssef with an arm in the England box and gave away a penalty.

Sassi confidently slotted home to level the score, leaving England with it all to do in the second half.

The Three Lions were dominant in possession but at times laboured under the pressure of the occasion, failing to break down Tunisia as the African side defended in numbers.

Kane was unlucky not to win his side a penalty as he was twice wrestled to the floor, with referee Wilmar Rodan unmoved by the striker’s protests.

The introduction of Marcus Rashford and Ruben Loftus-Cheek opened up the game for England, who found a winner in the 91st minute.

Harry Maguire flicked on a Kieran Trippier corner to Harry Kane, who headed home from close range.

The Three Lions captain said: “I’m so proud of the lads, it’s tough. I thought we played really well in the first half, we could have scored a few more.

“Credit to the lads, they kept going, kept going to the last second. I am absolutely buzzing, everyone on the staff is.

“It shows good character to get the job done.”

England manager Gareth Southgate said his side deserved the three points.

“We had total control of the game in the second half and we stayed patient,” he said.

“I am really pleased and even if we had drawn the game I would have been really proud of the performance.”

Panama, who were beaten 3-0 by Belgium earlier, will be England’s next opposition on Sunday.

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