World Cup 2018: Three things we learned from England’s win over Tunisia

Harry Kane scored an injury-time winner to help England gain a victory in its opening game.

Harry Kane had never before scored for England in tournament finals. Photo: Getty Images   -  Getty Images

England opened its World Cup campaign with a 2-1 win against Tunisia in Group G on Monday night in Volgograd courtesy of a last-gasp winner from goal machine Harry Kane.

Here AFP  looks at three things we learned from the match.

Kane able to shine on big stage

Harry Kane scored 46 goals in all competitions for Tottenham last season but had never before scored in a major tournament finals for England — until now.

Marked tightly, and often unfairly, by the Tunisian defence at set plays he managed to wriggle free twice — and scored on both occasions to go second in the Golden Boot standings behind Cristiano Ronaldo and level with Denis Cheryshev, Diego Costa and Romelu Lukaku.

Maguire is maturing fast

Leicester City’s central defender Harry Maguire was a constant threat from set pieces — his header set up Kane’s winning goal — and an assured presence at the back which earned him praise from Gareth Southgate.

WATCH - Highlights: England vs Tunisia

“Harry Maguire's potential is huge,” said Southgate of the 25-year-old. “Both he and Jordan Pickford have not played in cup finals and big-stage Champions League matches — but he has great composure and has a calm temperament. He has outstanding potential and hope tonight has given him a lot of belief.”

The hooligans stayed at home

England fans were given the warmest of welcomes in Volgograd and they reciprocated by being the perfect guests with no sign of any hooligan element that had been feared. “People in England said don’t go, you won’t come back, but it’s been great,” said Jonathan Phillips, from London as fans chanted Harry Kane’s name outside the 45,000-seater stadium after the match.

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