Tunisia 1-2 England
England claim their first win in the 2018 World Cup, beating Tunisia 2-1 thanks to a late Harry Kane header. Ashley Young was given the nod at left-wing back, Jesse Lingard featured in the center of the park, and Marcus Rashford replaced the disappointing Raheem Sterling with 20 minutes remaining.
It was a rollercoaster of an opening game for England; Tottenham's Harry Kane grabbing a brace to ensure England's perfect start to their World Cup campaign.
England started phenomenally, Lingard saw his close-range effort somehow blocked by Tunisia goalkeeper Mouez Hassen in the opening minutes. However, it wouldn't be long until England grabbed the first. Eleven minutes in, Harry Kane netted a traditional poachers goal after Hassen miraculously kept out a John Stones header.
The Three Lions continued to impress with their free-flowing attacking football, yet the young side squandered a host of opportunities to double their lead.
Pile on! @JesseLingard and @Youngy18 join the celebrations during @England’s win over Tunisia. #MUFC #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/QYxyPapfyO— Manchester United (@ManUtd) June 18, 2018
Lingard came close, agonizingly hitting the post after a wonderful through ball let the United playmaker through on goal.
Against the run of play, Tunisia were awarded a contentious penalty after Kyle Walker appeared to elbow Tunisia's Fakhreddine Ben Youssef. Ferjani Sassi stepped up and converted past the outstretched Jordan Pickford.
The game was full of drama, as Kane was wrestled down twice in the penalty box from set-pieces. However, no foul was given to the astonishment of the England players.
In a stagnant and frustrating second-half, Tunisia sat deeper and England's creativity somewhat dried up. Rashford was brought on to replace Manchester City's Raheem Sterling and injected life back into the side. His direct forward running and explosive trickery created a whole host of problems for Tunisia's defense. The addition of Reuben Loftus-Cheek added another creative dimension and England threatened further.
It would be Harry Kane's fairytale though. Harry Maguire rose high to head Kieran Trippier's corner, and the captain found himself open at the back-post to nod in the winner in stoppage time.
Moment of the Day— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 18, 2018
When @England’s Harry Kane netted an injury-time winner on his #WorldCup debut
TV listings https://t.co/xliHcxWvEO pic.twitter.com/wafiZ8XmEz
Young had a decent outing, his corner set-up Stone's header that led to the opening goal. His service in the first-half was dangerous, yet it seemed to dwindle after the break. Defensively he occasionally got exposed, seemingly through miscommunication with himself and Maguire. However, it was a good first game for the returning Ashley Young.
Lingard was a bright spark in the opening 20 minutes of the game. He linked superbly with Sterling, Kane and Dele Alli, and could have been on the scoresheet on a couple of occasions. His first attempt was well saved, he was denied by the woodwork, and lashed at a volley.
After Belgium's win earlier in the day, England sit second in the group, separated only by goal difference. Next up for the four Manchester United players and the Three Lions is Panama on Sunday, 24 June.