FIFA 2018: England coach Gareth Southgate hails team’s efforts

Volgograd (Russia): England head coach Gareth Southgate praised his team for their endeavours as Harry Kane’s late goal gave England a 2-1 victory over Tunisia in their first World Cup game in Group G.

With Kane’s early goal in the first half on Monday night, England made a near-perfect start at the Volgograd Arena here. However, Tunisia evened the score 24 minutes later with a penalty, reports Xinhua news agency.

“At 1-1 we had a plan which is to keep looking and keep probing,” Southgate told reporters at the post-match press conference.

After the equaliser by Tunisia, the England players launched continuous fierce attacks. FIFA statistics showed that England made 17 attempts at the goal throughout the match, while Tunisia made six.

“We created a lot of clear-cut chances in the first half, as many as I can remember us having. In the second half we dominated the game, kept our patience and looked for good opportunities rather than throwing the ball in the box,” the 47-year-old coach added.

“At the end, the pressure built and built. We did the right things and made good decisions and were good value for the win,” Southgate said.

In the 91st minute, Kane scored his second goal of the game with a well-placed header from close range which made England seal the victory.

Southgate praised Kane and said the England forward “will feel the pride of leading a country to a World Cup win is the most important thing”.