VOLGOGRAD, Russia (Reuters) – England captain Harry Kane declared his arrival on soccer’s biggest stage when he scored twice, including a stoppage-time winner, in a dramatic 2-1 victory over Tunisia as his team launched their World Cup campaign on Monday.
Just when it looked like the ‘Three Lions’ were going to extend their disappointing run in World Cup tournaments, Kane stooped at the far post to head home in the 91st minute.
Mindful of Ronaldo’s hat-trick for Portugal against Spain on Friday and doubles for Spaniard Diego Costa, also in that match, and Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku, Kane is the first England player to score twice in a World Cup game since Gary Lineker in 1990.
Manager Gareth Southgate labeled him a “top, top striker” and said he knew the pressure the Tottenham Hotspur striker was under to deliver having failed to score at Euro 2016.
“For him I am personally delighted but I know the pride he will feel in leading his country to victory tonight will be the biggest for him,” said Southgate.
Tunisia coach Nabil Maaloul said Kane was the difference between the two teams.
“It was him who was always there at the right time. He is the optimal striker,” he said. “The spaces that were created by Kane were very scary to us.”