Kane's late winner gets England off to positive start

Kane's late winner gets England off to positive start

Shane Purcell
TunisiaHassen; Meriah, Syam Ben Youssef, Bronn, Maaloul; Skhiri, Badri, Sassi; Fakhereedine Ben Youssef, Khazri, Sliti.
EnglandPickford; Trippier, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Young; Henderson, Alli, Lingard; Sterling, Kane.
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20:53 All over here in Russia, England have scraped a win thanks to two goals from Harry Kane. Serious questions will be asked about England but for now they have dug out three points. Thanks for joining us, until next time goodbye. 

92: Eric Dier replaces Jesse Lingard.

90: Harry Kane has done it again, Maguire wins the ball from a corner and Kane heads home from the back post, relief for Southgate. 

88: Unless England can magically come up with something, they have done nothing to suggest they will get the three points. Tunisians have done very well to keep England out. 

83: Tunisia's second keeper is down after a collision with Stones. However, Tunisia make their final change as their captain comes off to a standing ovation. 

79: Ashley Young fires it over the bar. Ruben Loftus-Cheek replaces Dele Alli. 

77: England have a free kick edge of the box. 

72: England really look like they have no where to go or do not know what to do. Tunisia make a change to bring on another holding midfield player.

67: Rashford comes on for Sterling, perhaps the Mancunian can be the inspiration to move England away from this flat performance. 

65: Henderson crosses a ball into the box but it sails away with no trouble, England look inspirationaless. 

60: England apply pressure but the Tunisians make the clearance. 

59: Henderson finds Trippier and the wing back has a shot but it's put out for a corner.

58: Kane finds Sterling in the box but it's too crowded for the winger and Tunisia clear the ball. 

55: England look very static and there is not much on for Southgate's men. Tunisia are doing a very good job of not creating any mistakes to allow England in.

53: England are struggling to get back into this, perhaps another holding midfielder would add more balance to this team.

51: Harry Maguire has a headed effort saved on the line.

50: Corner for England.

45: Tunisia gets us underway for the second half here in this Group G tie.

19:48: Half time here in Russia, it's Tunisia 1-1 England. 

45: Three minutes added!

44: Lingard does great to get in a position to dink it over the keeper however the ball hit the post and rolled out for a goal kick.

42: Lingard's close range shot is deflected over the bar, corner for England.

40: A free kick for England 35 yards out in the centre of the pitch, its floated in by Trippier but its dealt with by Tunisia.

36: England's good start has now lead tthem to look sloppy. 

34: Goal for Tunisia! 1-1, Sassi slots home from the spot to equalise. 

32: Tunisia awarded a penalty, Kyle Walker has elbowed a Tunisian player in the box.

30: Trippier floats a ball into Maguire from a free kick and the centre half heads for goal however the keeper gathers. 

27: England look a bit shakey at the back however Tunisia do not have the quality to capitalise. 

23: Ashley Young delivers a great ball into Jesse Lingard however Lingard hesitates and misses.

22: A positional mistake by Harry Maguire leads to a Tunisian corner. 

17: Jordan Henderson fires a shot straight down the new keeper's throat and the keeper does well.

13: Mouez Hassan the Tunisian goalkeeper leaves the pitch in tears due to an injury, judging by his reaction his World Cup may be over.

10: Goal by Harry Kane, he rebounds a John Stones effort from a corner and England have the perfect start!

10England have been the more comfortable of the two teams in the opening minutes. They have dominated posssesion and created chances going forward. 

7: The referee has a qucik word with Ashley Young over a possible elbow. 

3:  Raheem Sterling misses an open goal however he is offside.

1: Dele Alli kicks Englands campaign off!

18:29 There's a lot of praise from Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand for England boss Gareth Southgate for not allowing cliques to develop in this squad. Alan Shearer doesn't think that's relevant, citing how Spain's team is divided between Barca and Madrid. But he credited Southgate with not simply picking the biggest names.

18:21 England have struggled in knockout rounds in every tournament since Euro '96. The BBC are running a feature on past England managers, with Sven Goran Eriksson and Sam Allardyce talking about the English press. Allardyce claims the country should be "embarrassed" about the way it hounds people in football out.

18:16 Sterling's pace and movement will hopefully compliment captain Kane's finishing prowess. Against Nigeria, we saw Kane drop back sensibly when necessary to allow the fluid, pacey combos of Lingard, Alli and Sterling to manifest itself in the attacking positions.

18:10 What do we think of that England XI? No surprises. Harry Maguire starts ahead of Chelsea's Cahill as predicted and it's both Alli and Lingard in a midfield three behind Sterling and Kane.

18:05  Tunisia XI: Hassen; Meriah, Syam Ben Youssef, Bronn, Maaloul; Skhiri, Badri, Sassi; Fakhereedine Ben Youssef, Khazri, Sliti.

17:55 England XI: Pickford; Trippier, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Young; Henderson, Alli, Lingard; Sterling, Kane. 

09:30 It's finally matchday for England. The media coverage of Southgate's team has been positive so far, and today brings yet another example of fantastic decisions from the England media team itself as they look to promote the players, rather than see them destroyed. England fans, you'll want to watch this...

It's been a fantastic World Cup filled with drama so far. England have thus far escaped the thrilling storyline, whether it's sacked managers, stunning hat-tricks, underperforming stars, beautiful free-kicks or VAR drama. Tonight, it's their turn, for good or bad. Stay with VAVEL UK with live commentary and build-up.

Before kick-off, check out how our Group G candidates for the World Cup coped in their 'job interviews' with us.

Tunisia are without their star man, Youssef Msakni, who suffered ligament damage a couple of months ago and after helping them to qualify, has been cruelly ruled out. The man they'll now be relying on is Wahbi Khazri, and fortunately for Maaloul's men, he's fit, but isn't at 100% fitness having not played for two months after a thigh injury.

Whatever that team is, Southgate's players already know. "I think the players pretty much knew the team anyway from the way we work in training," Southgate said. "I just felt it gives some clarity. It's something that, in the couple of tournaments I played in, the managers did in the week leading up to the first game and I felt it did give everybody the opportunity just to really focus."

Meanwhile, Southgate will start with a three-man defence, as he has done for some time in friendlies and qualifiers. Kyle Walker should start on the right side of that, with John Stones centrally and either Cahill or Maguire on the left, though it's reported to be Maguire. Ashley Young is set to be given the nod over Danny Rose, and likewise Jordan Henderson over Tottenham Hotspur's Eric Dier. Predicted England XI: Pickford; Trippier, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Young; Henderson, Alli, Lingard; Sterling; Kane. 

It's known that Jordan Pickford will start in goal, as England's youngest World Cup goalkeeper. That's very different to in 2010, when manager Fabio Capello told Rob Green he was making his World Cup debut just 90 minutes before kick-off. That didn't end well, with a catastrophic mistake. Pickford has had plenty of time to prepare mentally.

Team news will be out at around 6PM for this game, and we'll have more build-up before then. But Gareth Southgate has already named his side. To his players, that is. While the media have guessed, there are still some debates over whether Southgate will pick Gary Cahill or Harry Maguire in defence and how his attack will look.

"You learn lessons from the past, but this team shouldn't be burdened with it because they're a fresh group, most of them have very few international caps," Southgate said. "The future is all ahead of them, so they have to be thinking about what's possible.
"The players of the past and opportunities of the past are gone. This team is looking at things in a different way, trying to play in a different way.
"They have a hunger, a desire, we have better technical players than we've had in the past coming through our academies, so there's a real enthusiasm."

Of course, Sterling and others are huge names. But they haven't had the same pressure as the 'Golden Generation' and because England's squad is quite balanced in terms of experience and status, it has a far more relaxed feel than ahead of previous tournament. Southgate's England side are the third-youngest side in Russia. He's pleased his side is different.

It's a key point which Southgate has referenced, too. This is not a team of stars. Perhaps England's biggest name is the captain, Harry Kane. But he is not of the same ilk as England's previous 'world-class' players. He hasn't been a 'name' since he was 16, he hasn't been captain for years, and he hasn't been around for that long. He wasn't even at the 2014 World Cup.

"It is true that Tunisia played against England in 1998, when they had great players like Beckham and Owen, but there was not the same great collective spirit," Maaloul said.
"I think that this team has progressed enormously. They have young players, the third youngest they've sent to a World Cup. Maybe they've changed a bit in terms of their mentality, their attitude."

It's been 20 years (and three days) since these two sides' last meeting. England finished 2-0 winners in Marseille, with goals from Alan Shearer and Paul Scholes. The current Three Lions boss, Southgate, was playing in that match. It was a team of stars. But Tunisia manager, Nabil Maaloul, who took over last year, insists that his opponents on Monday are a better team than the one who comfortably won that group stage match at France '98.

England face Tunisia at 7PM, and it should be a straight-forward first victory. This is, though, the World Cup. And this is England. Whatever happens tonight, VAVEL UK will bring you live commentary throughout, minute-by-minute, after all the build-up. Team news out at 6PM.

Calm does not usually transcend England and its football team. When Gareth Southgate took over as Three Lions boss, he did so in classically challenging and tumultuous English circumstances; replacing Sam Allardyce clouded in controversy, after a tournament in which Roy Hodgson’s England had dismayed a nation through humiliation to little Iceland. But less than two years later, Southgate’s young England team have excited in friendlies, won the respect and affection of the media and supporters. Now, it’s time to kick off a World Cup, for the first time for much of the squad.