So we CAN win an opening game in an international competition! Yes I know the opposition weren’t the highest of standards – but those are the ones we normally mess up!
The first half, on the whole, was a good performance. Yes we gave away the penalty, personally I agree it was one. Walker clearly moved his arm towards Youssef – you can’t do that! However we definitely should have had one penalty when Kane was clearly rugby tackled. What was galling about that one, they went to the VAR and looked at the wrong incident! There was another challenge on Kane later which could have been given too.
The second half was more like the typical frustration we are used to. They way it was going, I was concerned that Tunisia were going to get a second on a break. They passed the ball around well and made it difficult for England at times. As it turned out, they didn’t create any more chances. Their only shot on goal was the penalty. They were a very physical side, and I don’t blame them for that – I am just frustrated that the referee seemed to think that this was acceptable!
There were some notable performances. I thought Trippier did well as did Alli before he got injured. I just hope that isn’t an issue for the tournament. It may be wise to rest him against Panama. Lingard and Sterling were also busy, although they need to find their shooting boots. We seemed to want to pass it into the net. Loftus-Cheek and Rashford looked great when they came on, and they will both play a key role. Our defensive unit did well too – other than the penalty – they didn’t give anything away.
So over all a decent start, we got the win and put on a good performance for the first half, room for improvement – but we are off and running. (Unlike Germany!)
So do we believe? Hmm, may be not quite yet – we SHOULD beat Panama, but Belgium will be a test. May be wait until then!