surinenglish

Harry Kane saves England with late winner against Tunisia

The England players celebrate the winner with Harry Kane.
The England players celebrate the winner with Harry Kane. / EFE
  • The Tottenham striker's header in injury time won the match after a largely uninspiring performance

England got their World Cup campaign off to a positive start on Monday night as they scored late to secure a win in their Group G opener against Tunisia in Volgograd - a game overshadowed by refereeing decisions and swarms of mosquitos that had descended on the stadium from their breeding grounds in the nearby Volga river.

Strong favourites England, whose players were seen covering themselves in repellent before kick-off, started with purpose and spurned a number of clear chances in the opening exchanges, through Raheem Sterling, Jesse Lingard and John Stones. However, when Harry Kane tapped home the rebound from Stones' header in the 11th minute, many were expecting the floodgates to open.

An injury to Tunisia keeper Mouez Hassen, though, disrupted England's rhythm and Gareth Southgate's side were pegged back in the 35th minute when Kyle Walker conceded a controversial penalty, thanks to a stray arm on Fakhreddine Ben Youssef, which was converted by Ferjani Sassi.

This boosted Tunisia who came out of their shell in the second half and started to get in England's face.

However, after being denied two clear penalties, England's persistance paid off and Kane scored a brilliantly-placed header in stoppage time from Harry Maguire's flick.

Having won the opening game of a major tournament for the first time since they beat Paraguay in the 2006 World Cup, England face Panama, who lost 3-0 to Belgium on Monday, in their next match on Sunday (kickoff 2pm).