Gareth Southgate applauded England’s togetherness as they left it late to make a fine start to their World Cup bid.
Harry Kane’s winning goal in time added on secured a gutsy 2-1 win over Tunisia when it looked sure the Three Lions would drop points.
It was the Tottenham striker’s second of the match after stabbing home from close range, before Kyle Walker gifted a penalty to the Africans.
Manager Southgate says it wasn’t just about the talisman and England did something they rarely do – win in the first tournament match.
“At the end of the game the pressure built and built,” he said. “We did right things and made good decisions and were good value for the win.
“Good teams find ways to win matches, and that is just what we did.
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“We didn’t flap and we didn’t panic. What we didn’t do was lob the ball in aimlessly. We carried on playing and knew a chance would come.
“We kept our composure are we kept going right until the end. We got our reward.
“As for Harry Kane the only thing he hasn’t done now is score in August – he’s moved every other barrier. He will feel pride of leading a country to a World Cup win is the most important thing.
“At 1-1 we had a plan – to keep looking and keep probing but don’t get caught on the counter-attack.”