Match Report- Kane double sinks Carthage Eagles

By Soccer Blog | Jun 18, 2018

Skipper Harry Kane’s double gave England a winning start to their 2018 World Cup campaign as they beat Tunisia 2-1 in Volgograd. The Three Lions, who had won only five of their opening games at major tournaments going back to 1950, snatched victory at the death thanks to the Spurs striker’s 91st minute header.

Gaffer Gareth Southgate, the only England manager till date NOT to have when born when Bobby Moore and Co. lifted the Jules Rimet Trophy in 1966, opted to go with a 3-5-2 formation as had been predicted in the papers, with this game marking the first time that the eleven named in the starting lineup had played together.

Tunisia England lineup

England started off brilliantly, displaying a fluency that had been sorely lacking in the performances of France, Germany and Argentina. Some sharp, incisive passing saw Tunisia’s defence repeatedly torn to shreds, and it was only profligacy from the likes of Jesse Lingard and Raheem Sterling in front of goal that kept the Carthage Eagles in the game.

Southgate’s men eventually went 1-0 ahead in the 11th minute. Ashley Young’s corner was met by a powerful header from John Stones and opposition goalkeeper Mouez Hassen produced a fantastic sprawling save to deny the young Man City defender, but the ball landed at the feet of Kane, who netted from close range to continue his fantastic record of scoring in every game where he’s been named captain.

The left handed save left Hassen nursing a shoulder injury and he walked off the pitch in tears to be replaced by Farouk Ben Mustapha, Tunisia’s reserve goalkeeper who last played an competitive international game for them back in 2014.

Mouez Hassen

A needless penalty conceded by Kyle Walker saw Ferjani Sassi equalise from the spot for Tunisia nine minutes from half time. Pickford guessed right, but was unable to stop the spot kick. That however was effectively the only real time that the Everton keeper was tested as Tunisia then chose to park the bus.

Sassi Pickford

The goal England were threatening to score eventually came in second half stoppage time. Trippier’s corner was nodded onto the far past by Harry Maguire, and Kane, again perfectly placed, made no mistake to give his side all three points.

England can now seal passage to the Round of 16 with a win against Panama, and the odds on them winning the World Cup have been slashed from 16/1 to 12/1 at Bet365, who have been reviewed here in case you find the Three Lions an attractive proposition to go all the way in Russia.

Tun Eng

Most of Southgate’s gambles did pay off- there was a doubt whether a trio of Jordan Henderson, Dele Alli and Jesse Lingard would be upto it defensively, and they certainly were. He chose Ashley Young to play at left wingback instead of Danny Rose and the United veteran had a hand in their first goal. Kieran Trippier and he kept the Tunisian defence busy with accurate crosses into the box. Replacements Marcus Rashford and Reuben Loftus Cheek also provided impetus from the bench.

England 2 (Harry Kane*2) beat Tunisia 1 (Sassi)- Attendance in Volgograd 41,064

England’s starting lineup v Tunisia:- Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire; Trippier, Henderson, Alli, Lingard, Young; Sterling, Kane

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