Tunisia-England game in World Cup most-watched programme in 2018

Lawrence Kim
June 21, 2018

But opportunities were now coming at a premium for England as Tunisia appeared content to concede possession, defend in numbers and break up the game with a series of niggly fouls and general time wasting.

Harry Kane fired an injury time victor as he scored twice to earn England a 2-1 win over Tunisia in their World Cup opener.

"It's massive. I am so proud of the lads".

"It's something that, in the couple of tournaments I played in, the managers did in the week leading up to the first game and I felt it did give everybody the opportunity just to really focus".

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

After the break, England, who had wasted several good chances in the first half, struggled to break down the deep defending African side. If there's to be anything levelled at us it would be to be ruthless with those.

"I guess that's what VAR is there for, to look at them decisions.

We kept going. We spoke a lot about togetherness and we've got a great bond together", he said. They topped their qualifying group to reach Russian Federation and have some unpredictable attack flair that England will need to keep under control.

"There were players ahead of me at the time".

"And our attacking players were a threat all night".

Set plays provided England with both goals in Volgograd, where Southgate was aggrieved not to be awarded a spot-kick.

Kane will lead England out as captain for their first action of the tournament against Tunisia on Monday in Volgograd, having already seen a supreme display of finishing at Russian Federation 2018. They like to play. "That would be the observation".

"We could have scored a few more and then obviously - I've not seen the penalty back but from my point of view it didn't look like one".

"If penalties are going to be given for that, it's going to be an interesting tournament, I think there were similar offences at the other end of the pitch".

The only Englishman to win one of those is Gary Lineker - also the last man to score a World Cup brace for the Three Lions - and Southgate and co will hope their shining light does not fade on the global stage, like so many before him.

Khazri, who spent last season on loan at Rennes and one of only a handful of Tunisia players to have played in Europe's top leagues, is a set-piece specialist and expected to play as a central striker for his country in Russian Federation.

"We had a lot of bug spray on before the game, half-time, which was important because there was some of them in your eyes, some of them in your mouth".

Southgate told the BBC: "For every opponent, we would prepare exactly the same - not to flood the players with information about the opposition".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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