Striker Harry Kane lauded by Gareth Southgate after Tunisia double


Captain Harry Kane came to the rescue with two goals, the second a dramatic added on victor, as England began their World Cup Group G campaign with a stuttering 2-1 win over Tunisia, here Monday.

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

Kane and England made the ideal start to the tournament as he tapped home from close range to score after just 11 minutes.

Kane scored twice from corners, including in second-half stoppage time, but on another day he might have been awarded a couple of penalties too after being dragged to the ground by his markers - firstly Tunisia's goalscorer Ferjani Sassi and then Yassine Meriah.

England face Panama in their next game on Sunday.

It's fair to say that Harry Kane was one of the few English players to come away from their 2-1 victory over Tunisia with credit. Low expectations for this year's overhauled team were dispelled early in Russian Federation when Kane reacted quickly to score after John Stones' header was saved.

It was down to captain Kane to swing the game back in their favour with minutes to go, reacting fastest to Harry Maguire's flick-on to nod home the victor at the far post. "Credit to the lads though, as we kept going and that's what these World Cup games are about - it is about going up until the last second and absolutely buzzing".

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They will need to be better than this when they face stronger opponents, but you can not overstate the importance of belief and confidence for this England squad.

Furthermore, mentally, Southgate will not want to get to the next stage on the back of a loss - you want to be there undefeated. "The VAR not giving England a penalty retrospectively was a wrong call", he said.

"I think you just have to let the referees get on with it and let them take the decisions".

"The offences were so clear that I was surprised, and disappointed, that the Brazilian referee Sandro Ricci in the VAR studio in Moscow didn't get involved", he said. "Even at 1-1, I was really proud of the performance". "But all we can do is get on with the game".

"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".

Sweden 1, South Korea 0: Andreas Granqvist drilled a penalty kick into the right corner of the net in the 65th minute to lift Sweden over South Korea in World Cup Group F play in Moscow.