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Gary Lineker's F-word reaction to Harry Kane's England victor

19 June 2018
Gary Lineker's F-word reaction to Harry Kane's England victor

England comes into the big tournament as the 12th ranked team in the world, and the top team in Group F of UEFA qualifying, securing 26 out of a possible 30 points and the only team from the group to advance to the World Cup, finishing 8 points ahead of Scotland and Slovakia.

Yet the officials managed to topple the insects as England's biggest irritant as Ferjani Sassi netted from a controversially awarded penalty that somehow was not followed up by spot-kicks at the other end as the video assistant referees ignored the manhandling of Kane. But Tunisia were allowed to get away with crossing the line in this game and England can be justified in feeling hard done to by the officials, both on the pitch and in the VAR suite, until Kane scored their late victor.

Harry Kane, Jordan Pickford and Raheem Sterling are among the starters in England's World Cup opener.

Gareth Southgate's men appeared to run out of ideas in the second half, with Tunisia seemingly set to see out what would have been an unexpected draw.

"You go until the last second", Kane said, "and I'm absolutely buzzing".

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Ashley Young's corner was met by a powerful John Stones header, which Hassen denied superbly only for Kane to pounce and turn home his first goal at a major tournament.

England's new-look, younger squad will look to start its 2018 World Cup with some positive momentum when it faces African upstart Tunisia in Volgograd, Russia, on Monday.

"The current English team is much stronger than the one in 2016 so it's not going to be the same thing", added Maaloul, who was in the stadium to watch England lose 2-1 to Iceland in France two years ago. Maybe it was a bit of justice to score at the back post at the end. England allowed carelessness to creep in at the back and offered a limited Tunisia team the chance to get back into a game they should have been out of within the opening half-hour.