header decal


19 Jun 2018

Tunisia 1-2 England: 5 things we learned as Captain Kane stars

REUTERS/Sergio Perez

Finally, five days in and with many millions of thumbs twiddled, England arrived at the 2018 World Cup.

Beyond the shores of Blighty it is likely that few cared too much about the first appearance of the Three Lions in Russia, but for those entrusted with bringing football home, Monday evening doubtless represented catharthis.

That was not solely because England, eventually, won this game 2-1. Rather it was the sight of Gareth Southgate's side turning up on the big stage and, for once, not being overawed, playing the way they had promised to and refusing to be waylaid by any misfortune that came upon them.

Harry Kane's brace might be seen in some quarters as having spared England's blushes but, in truth, he provided them with the least they deserved. Southgate's men are off and running and they should enjoy that feeling before Sunday's tussle with Panama. 

Here are five conclusions from a game that put its observers well and truly through the wringer.