Captain Kane proud of England's persistence

Harry Kane England Nigeria 2018

For Harry Kane, who scored both of England's goals, they clearly were.

England were made to work hard by Tunisia in their World Cup opener but a late Harry Kane victor ensured they got off to a winning start.

Frank Lampard was relieved to see England get off to a winning start, but wished the margin had been greater.

England shouldn't have found it so tough in its Group G opener against such opposition. Hassen saved acrobatically but Kane was on hand to tap home the rebound with his right foot and open his World Cup account.

England's squad received a pre-tournament briefing on VAR from a Federation Internationale de Football Association delegation and, although Rashford maintains the technology is a positive for the game, he believes the need for improvement is clearly evident.

"Harry Kane is one of the best attackers in the Premier League and that is why he is highly sought after by the highest clubs", Tunisian coach Nabil Maaloul said.

Finally, Kane showcased on the worldwide stage the predatory instinct in front of goal that has served Tottenham so well.

"At 1-1 we had a plan to. keep probing but not get caught on the counter-attack", said England manager Gareth Southgate. "Togetherness and believing in ourselves".

"I can't stress enough the importance (of those goals)", Shearer said on BBC1's World Cup Match of the Day. And until Kane glanced home a 91st minute header, there was little to suggest a victor would be coming.

Mohamed Salah scores but Egypt face World Cup heartbreak
Cavani, however, said he chose to take Salah's shirt as a gift because his children see the 25-year-old as a star. The use of Video Assistant Referee helped award Salah a penalty kick in the second half that he drew.

England were dominating but struggling to create anything of note.

But after Kyle Walker conceded a penalty throwing an arm out towards Tunisia forward Fakhreddine Ben Youssef, the game was even at half-time. But Kane popped up in the 91s minute to head England to victory from a corner.

Despite it all, Kane remained patient and delivered in the first minute of stoppage time. "They kept going, kept going to the last second".

England seemed destined for a familiar hard-luck story - dominance with little to show for it.

England then worked another fine move as Dele Alli fed in Lingard, who squared the ball for Sterling who somehow got his feet wrong and sent the ball wide of an empty net.

Chances to regain the advantage were squandered.

"The pleasing thing was the movement, the pace, the interchange", Southgate said.

For Kane, wearing the captain's armband is only making him more prolific. He's also scored eight goals in the six games in which he has worn the armband for England. He aggravated it again and was forced off in tears after just 15 minutes, Farouk Ben Mustapha coming on in his place.

England and Belgium are the early front-runners as expected. But there can be no denying the value of the feel-good factor that will now infuse England ahead of Sunday's Group G encounter with Panama in Nizhny Novgorod.

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