Harry Kane watch: How did England captain perform in Three Lions’ World Cup opener

5 5 But how did Kane perform throughout the match, as he captained Gareth Southgate’s side in Volgograd?talkSPORT.com cast an expert eye over Tottenham forward Kane, and you can see his performance analysed below…England’s early brightness came with Kane rarely involved. An early Raheem Sterling miss was created by Jesse Lingard on the counter-attack, while Lingard’s own shot – which was saved by Mouez Hassen – saw Kane lingering on the edge of area rather than being involved closer to the goal.His first attempt, after 10 minutes, was a poor one. He did not connect well with the ball as he shot from just outside the area, and should have instead laid the ball off to Sterling who was in space in the inside right position.But the shot deflected wide for a corner, which led to Kane scoring England’s first goal at these World Cup finals.John Stones should take much of the praise, as his fine header forced an even better save from Hassen, but Kane did what he does best, connecting with the rebound to open the scoring.Kane has an incredible ability at finding himself in the right place at the right time, and he used this to fine effect on this occasion. Even more impressively, while some of his team-mates were in an offside position when Stones made his initial header, Kane waited to time his run until Hassen’s save, ensuring he was onside to score. 5 England were forcing play very narrow, although this did allow Trippier to exploit the right flank and deliver into the centre England got their World Cup campaign off to a perfect start, even if their performance in the 2-1 defeat of Tunisia was largely underwhelming.The result sees the Three Lions move second in Group G, behind Belgium, and came courtesy of two goals from Harry Kane. Though Sterling was in an offside position when Stones headed towards goal, Kane timed his movement to perfection and stayed onside Just under 10 minutes later, Kieran Trippier sent a cut-back across Tunisia’s area which Kane had overrun, though the blame should be directed at the full-back, as he played the ball behind Kane, rather than targeted at his destination.When England had the ball in attacking zones, Kane has hanging on the last defender, which is his prerogative as a centre-forward. However, this position did create a void between Kane and England’s midfield, which forced Sterling, Alli and Lingard into the central channel just outside Tunisia’s area. Play kept coming inside, preventing any chance of utilising the wings, which had happened to be England’s best source of chances in the opening stages. 5 Kane (bottom of the left image ) was not fast enough to support England’s attacks when they broke from deep. Sterling was forced out wide into a crowd of Tunisia defenders. Kane was in the right place at the right time to head England’s winner Kane scored twice as he captained England to victory When England were more advanced, and were dominating possession in the final third, Kane was more involved. He, as in the first half, was loitering about one yard inside the Tunisia area, and was combining well with Sterling and Lingard.However, this was forcing England’s play very narrow, and Tunisia were content to load their box with bodies to act as a wall to repel attacks.However, the width that was being offered in the first half to counter this narrowness was no longer being provided; Trippier was being pegged back so could not overlap on the right, while Young was getting in good positions on the left, but kept cutting back onto his stronger right foot, inevitably slowing down attacks.Kane was loitering in the area waiting for deliveries that just never came, despite almost constant England possession in the final third.The play became more and more congested as the match wore on into the final stages, which did not help Kane.At times, he was behind four or five of his team-mates, which meant although there were bodies in the box, there was not a focal point to aim at.But, once again, Kane came up trumps when required, and it was all from doing what he does best – finding space in a crowded penalty area.A corner was flicked on by Stones and fell in front of Kane, who, from a yard out, headed home to secure the win for England. 5 As the half wore on, England started to lose their early dominance and they, eventually, let Tunisia back into the game via the penalty spot.However, Kane should have won a penalty of his own, when he was tackled to the ground off the ball in the chaos that comes when a corner is sent into the box.England’s first attack of the second half, a counter, showed the biggest issue with Kane playing alongside the likes of Sterling and Lingard. Kane is certainly not a slow man, but when England broke he was left puffing in the centre circle while Sterling, in possession, had already made it halfway into the Tunisia half. Sterling was forced down a blind alley, which shines poorly on him, but Kane was offering absolutely no support. Kane will be pleased with ending the match with two goals, but there was much to be desired from his performance. Admittedly, many issues arose from England’s play, which often congested the central positions and forced Kane to be doubled-up upon by Tunisia’s defenders, but Kane himself was causing problems by remaining static in the final third, rather than trying to create space to stretch the Tunisian defence.It was the opening match of the World Cup, so such laxness can be excused, but Kane needs to take his game to another level if England are to have any chance of progressing far in this tournament.

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