In a game where the mosquitoes were swarming the pitch, it was Harry Kane who plagued the Tunisian national team in today’s Group G match.
England came out attacking from the start, giving Tunisia headaches with some of their through ball’s and shots on target. The Englishmen could not capitalize. That is until the 10th minute when a corner kick led to a John Stones header, ridiculous save by Mouez Hassen and rebound from Kane gave England the 1-0 lead.
Then Tunisia employed a new strategy: Take down Kane.
On numerous occasions, Harry was taken down in the box, to no availability from the refs, who let play continue. No cards were shown. Nothing was called.
In the 34th minute, Tunisia were granted a penalty when Kyle Walker‘s elbow made contact with Ben Youssef‘s neck and was awarded the foul.
Ferjani Sassi stepped up the penalty spot and drilled the ball past Jordan Pickford. The English goalkeeper dove in the right direction, but the shot had too much power.
With things level, the game got boring in the middle of the second half.
England continued with attempts at goal but would come up short, or wide. You can feel the tension building in the UK. Headlines of how underwhelming Gareth Southgate’s team was in tomorrow’s back pages. Questions of the lineup. The thought of not making it past the group stage with this young squad.
But King Harry rose from the dead and put England on top in stoppage time.
He wasn’t held. He wasn’t brought down. In fact, during this corner kick int he 90th minute, he was left alone and unmarked. Enough that a header that bounced in his direction made its way to the back of the net after an emphasizing flick of the neck.
Just look at the reaction from the closest Tunisian defender after he realized that nobody rotated to mark the English striker and he scored.
And that’s all she wrote.
England survived and did just enough to pull out the win, putting them atop of Group G alongside Belgium. Can they come out second in the group?