Tunisia coach: thank all my players for their defensive attitude

19 June, 2018, 20:33 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Steven Gerrard left and Joe Cole centre

Tunisia's Ferjani Sassi was also pestered by them before the took a penalty - but he still managed to score as the African side went into halftime level at 1-1 with England.

After yesterday's wonderful 2-1 victory for England against Tunisia - a game that initially looked like the Three Lions would have to settle for a point before striker Harry Kane saved the day with a headed goal late on - it's easy to forget the controversy that nearly cost the side all three points.

Speaking following the dramatic victory, England boss Gareth Southgate was full of praise for his players, visibly delighted with their performance against the Eagles of Carthage.

"It's massive. I am so proud of the lads".

"I think if the Skripal business hadn't happened we would have had 10,000 here", he said.

On top of the 2-1 result, fans said they had been given a warm welcome in the southern city despite ice-cold relations between Moscow and London.

"We got told before that there was going to be quite a lot of flies and when we went out for the warm-up it was a lot more than we all kind of thought".

"We had total control of the game in the second half and we stayed patient".

"All the Russians were going 'thank you for coming to our country, are you enjoying yourselves?' And I think that's really nice".

Portugal keeper Ricardo right saves Steven Gerrard's penalty
Even a shoot-out could not bring multiple England goals

"And our attacking players were a threat all night".

England was just minutes away from another World Cup disappointment. Southgate would be justified in wondering if there is a glitch in the system which made Kane invisible to the cameras whenever England were awarded a corner.

"I'll have to get myself one of those Russian dolls", he said.

I remember meeting one of the Arsenal team that famously won at Anfield in 1989 to win the league title.

"In terms of Harry, if he doesn't score tonight I'm sitting answering questions about his ability to score goals in tournament football".

"There were a lot of decisions against us and maybe there was a bit of justice at the end".

Those who started the match were given the day off, but Alli was sent for a scan to ascertain just how serious the issue is, leaving Gareth Southgate to sweat over his fitness for Sunday's meeting with Panama. Only four payers had who have played more than 30 matches, with them being Jordan Henderson (39), Raheem Sterling (38), Kyle Walker (35) and Ashley Young (34).

Here, Press Association Sport looks back over England's shot-shy recent history in the World Cup.

Both Sterling and Alli are consistent goal scorers for their club teams, but neither can yet say they have made the step up at global level.

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