England almost had to settle for a disappointing draw against Tunisia in their first Group G game of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, then Harry Kane came to the rescue in stoppage time.
The English captain and star striker scored the winning goal — his second of the game — a minute into extra time on a header from close range to secure three huge points for the Three Lions.
Kane has been quite effective in his England career, but this winning goal certainly is his most memorable moment in international competition, given the stage. This is England’s first World Cup win since 2010.
It didn’t take England long to make their mark on the World Cup.
The Three Lions created several quality scoring chances in the opening minutes against Tunisia, and they finally broke through in the 11th minute when Kane capitalized on a rebound off a corner kick.
It didn’t get better for Tunisia after England’s goal. Tunisia goalkeeper Mouez Hassen had to come off a few minutes after the goal because of an injury, and he was replaced by Farouk Ben Mustapha.
Tunisia equalized before halftime on a penalty kick by Ferjani Sassi in the 35th minute. England fullback Kyle Walker committed the foul that resulted in the penalty by hitting Ben Youssef in the face with his arm. It was a careless foul by Walker.
England defender John Stones had a brilliant opportunity to put his team ahead shortly after Tunisia’s goal, but he whiffed on the volley.
Both teams pressed forward in the second half in search of the winning tally. England created the better chances, but Tunisia proved to be a real threat in attack as well.
England enjoyed a 61-39 percent advantage in possession, and out shot Tunisia 18 (eight on target) to six (one on target).
Man of the Match
How could it not be Harry Kane? The Tottenham forward saved the day for England and put his team in a first-place tie with Belgium atop the group (the Belgians have the tiebreaker advantage on goal difference, though).
Tunisia resumes group play Saturday, June 23 against Belgium at 8 a.m. ET. England plays Panama on Sunday, June 24 at 8 a.m.