Newcastle fans must be the most relaxed of all England supporters as Kane rescues result
The England match took supporters right through the range of feelings.
For Newcastle fans, it was just another day at the office as they watched the national team toy with our emotions.
The opening 25 minutes or so saw England look like a very good team against an average (not poor) Tunisia side, only for it to take a last gasp Harry Kane goal to save the day.
Gareth Southgate’s players pressed from the first second, dominating play and forcing the opposition into all kinds of mistakes.
Tunisia couldn’t get out of their own half and England had chance after chance.
Kane scored after 11 minutes after the Turkish keeper could only parry Stones’ excellent header, at that point it only looked a case of how many they would win by.
However, chances were repeatedly wasted as Alli, Sterling and others should all have done better – frustration.
Of course, England were never going to keep up that early pace and as the game settled down, Tunisia began to get some possession though without able to create anything.
They looked to be going nowhere, only for Kyle Walker to once again show us that whilst he is an excellent attacking full-back/wing-back, he is not a great defender.
An average cross from the right but Walker facing his own goal, the Turkish striker has no chance of reaching the ball but the England defender raises his arm to allow the opponent to run into it and get a soft penalty.
Sassi scores from the spot and somehow the scores are level after 35 minutes – disbelief.
For those of us watching on TV, it appeared that suddenly they had switched off the VAR monitors.
The system has been a real positive so far with many crucial decisions made, that would otherwise have been missed.
On Monday night though, the footage of Harry Kane being dragged to the ground twice when corners were being taken, with the defender never even looking at the ball, it wa beyond comprehension how somebody else sitting in a room watching it on TV, wasn’t alerting the referee to two obvious penalties – anger.
The second half saw England lacking both spark and ideas, didn’t look the same team as that opening 25 minutes.
They did keep going though despite shocking timewasting and playacting from Tunisia, which when combined with a very weak referee, left you accepting this was fading into a draw – acceptance.
No surprise though that the eventual 91st minute winner came from another set-piece, Maguire meeting the corner and flicking on for a very cute Harry Kane finish – elation!
A victory for England against Panama on Sunday (1pm) will make them all but mathematically certain of qualifying, with then of the group containing Poland, Senegal, Japan and Columbia to come in the knockout stage.
As for Newcastle fans, a nice distraction from a becalmed summer transfer window and nice to support temporarily a team like England, where you can enjoy all the feelings that come with winning, yet when they eventually disappoint and are knocked out, you can walk away and say ‘so what, it’s not Newcastle.’
However, hopefully that moment will be some time away and I have to say, that opening 25 minutes was very impressive and I can’t remember when the last time watching England was so entertaining – even if only that brief period.
Maybe more to come?
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