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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Harry Kane: England's late winner 'a bit of justice' after earlier non-calls

Harry Kane said his late header to secure a 2-1 win over Tunisia gave England a "bit of justice" after he was impeded on some earlier opportunities.

England were staring at a draw in their opening match until Harry Maguire headed on Kieran Trippier's corner for Kane to head in at the back post in the 91st minute.

Kane's markers had peeled off him after the ball fell to Maguire, leaving him in space that he didn't enjoy earlier in the game.

Twice in the first half, Kane was restrained by Tunisia defenders on a pair of corners only for Colombian referee Wilmar Roldan to wave play on, so the Tottenham striker thought it was only fair that he get the chance to score the winner.

"There could have been a couple of penalties. We had so much joy from corners," Kane told the BBC after the game. "They were trying to grab hold and stop us running. Maybe a bit of justice at the end.

"That's football, that's the ref. It showed good character to get on with it."

He added in news conference: "I guess that's what VAR is there for, to look at those decisions. If they didn't think it was a penalty then we have to deal with that.

"For me, I struggled to get them off me, I tried to run at a few corners and just couldn't move. I guess as players there's nothing we can do about that. We just have to hope the officials get it right more often than not."

England will be second in Group G on goal difference after Belgium went top with a 3-0 win over Panama, and Kane said it was crucial to take the three points to keep pace.

"It's massive. So proud of the lads. I thought we played well, especially in the first half," he said.

"Credit to the lads, we kept going. We've spoken a lot about togetherness and we've got a great bond together. That's what these games are about -- it's a World Cup -- you go until the last second and I'm absolutely buzzing."

Harry Kane of England celebrates after scoring the winner.
Harry Kane scored England's winner.

Kane also scored England's opener in the 11th minute, but Tunisia were able to get back in the game after Kyle Walker conceded a penalty by raising his arm to attempt to fend off Fakhreddine Ben Youssef.

"In the Premier League it probably wasn't a foul, but in the World Cup it was," Walker said. "I got a call from Kieran [Trippier] to leave it so I tried to make myself as big as possible, and he ran into my arm."

England boss Gareth Southgate lamented England's numerous spurned opportunities to widen their lead before Tunisia scored, but thought his team were deserving of the three points.

"Even though the clock was running down, we stayed patient. We waited for opportunities," Southgate said. "We made so many clear-cut chances in the first half. We were strong on set plays in the second half.

"Even if we had drawn the game I would have been proud of us. We'll do well to make as many in a game in this tournament. Good teams score late goals."

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