We picked Ashley Young, Syam Ben Youssef and Harry Kane as the three players who had the most impact as England overcame Tunisia at the 2018 World Cup.
England started on the right foot, putting pressure on the Tunisian defence from the get-go. The pressure paid dividends as Mouez Hassen brilliantly parried a John Stones header from the incoming corner. But, the ball fell to Harry Kane who scored on his World Cup debut.
Just as things were looking good for England, Kyle Walker was adjudged to have used his elbow in the box, thus handing Tunisia what looked like a soft penalty, but a correct decision. Ferjani Sassi converted to level the scoreline.
It looked like a case of old times for England before Harry Kane stepped up from another set-piece to drive home the winner for the Three Lions. We take a look at three players who played a pivotal role in the result.
Preferred on the left over Danny Rose, Ashley Young showed just why he has been starting for Manchester United at the club level. While his pace was not there for all to see, his ability to cut inside and put in inviting crosses was on full display. Young created mayhem in the box with his crosses.
The veteran was also given the responsibility of taking corners and it was his ball that led to the opener for Harry Kane. His ball found the head of John Stones, who has denied by Mouez Hassen in acrobatic fashion before it fell to Kane who completed the task easily.
Young will be an underrated component on the pitch and could become England’s trump card in the matches to come.
Syam Ben Youssef
Tunisia were the underdogs going into the game and as the match started, everyone witnessed a barrage of England attacks on the Tunisian goal. But, if there was one defender who stood up and managed everything with aplomb, it was Syam Ben Youssef.
Not only did Ben Youssef command the defence admirably, he blocked a certain goal as well, which almost saw Tunisia grab a point from the game, only for England talisman Harry Kane to break their hearts.
Still, the performance bodes well for the 29-year-old, who will be looking to continue his form against Belgium next.
Harry Houdini, screamed the headlines of British publications. And perhaps rightly so. On a day when Jesse Lingard and Raheem Sterling were either wasteful or unlucky, Harry Kane showed the world why England are one of the outside shouts for the World Cup.
England possess, in Harry Kane, a talisman who is upto the task at every call. As he did against Tunisia. The first was a real poacher’s instinct, with the ability to be the first one to react to the loose ball. And the second one was equally opportune, capitalising on a miscue from the other Harry, Mr. Maguire.
Harry Kane is England’s Batman. But, unlike the Gotham protector, this one doesn’t need a signal lamp. For, he is always on call.