Harry Kane says last gasp victor was 'justice' against cynical Tunisia defence

Calvin Saunders
June 21, 2018

Harry Kane insisted England's late victor in their Group G opener against Tunisia was fully warranted.

And the plucky underdogs managed to frustrate the Three Lions throughout the second half, only for Kane to break their hearts with a stoppage time victor.

Harry Kane scored in the closing minutes to secure three points for England and a strong start to the team's quest for World Cup redemption.

Ashley Young's corner was headed goalwards by John Stones and although his effort was saved, Kane was there to tap home.

A late corner gave them their chance and a flick-on from the adventurous Harry Maguire was seized upon by Kane who flashed a header past the Tunisian keeper, Ben Mustapha, a first-half substitute for Mouez Hassen.

Just when it looked like the "Three Lions" were going to extend their disappointing run in World Cup tournaments, Kane stooped at the far post to head home in the 91st minute.

The Liverpool skipper said: "We can be friends off the field but when you're on the field it's important that you're fighting for your mate next to you".

"It was him who was always there at the right time", admitted Tunisia coach Nabil Maaloul, whose defenders had spent most of the match wrestling Kane to the ground to keep him quiet.

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"In the back of our minds, we thought that it could be one of those days where it doesn't go our way", Kane said after the match.

The Spurs striker admitted there had been some nerves present beforehand in the camp, but was full of praise for the team. I guess as players there's nothing we can do about that. Now, he's the first Leicester City player to represent the country at the World Cup since Gordon Banks, England's great goalkeeper during its one and only triumph in 1966.

'We had some of them in our eyes and some of them in our mouth. Yet on that corner in injury time, he found space at the far post to place a flawless header between Farouk Ben Mustapha (who replaced an injured Hassen in goal in the first half) and his post.

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

It is the first time England have opened a major tournament with a win since 2006 but it did not need to be this hard.

"They swarmed, they blitzed, from the get-go and Tunisia couldn't handle it. The VAR not giving England a penalty retrospectively was a wrong call", he said.

England's forthcoming opponent Panama was beaten 3-0 by Belgium in its opening game but Southgate warned his players not to underestimate Hernan Dario Gomez's team. We felt that Raheem Sterling and Dele Alli had caused huge problems for the opposition, but it was a good moment to put on a different threat.

VAR has overall been received well with the referees being helped to take many correct decisions without much effect on the flow of the game.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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