Lucky 15 for Kane as England captain opens goal account at major finals

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The Tottenham striker drew a blank for the Three Lions at Euro 2016, but required just 11 minutes to find the target in a World Cup clash with Tunisia

Harry Kane has scored his first goals at a major international tournament, with his efforts getting England off to the perfect start at World Cup 2018 in a 2-1 victory over Tunisia.

The Tottenham striker has been a prolific presence at club level over recent seasons, collecting two Premier League Golden Boots.

He headed to Euro 2016 on the back of one of those, but struggled at his first finals as the Three Lions flopped badly on French soil.

Kane did fire in 13 efforts on goal as England toiled their way to a last-16 exit, but none of those found the target.

The 24-year-old is unaccustomed to drawing a blank and has set about making amends in Russia.

The Spurs star – who is England’s youngest captain at a World Cup – required just 11 minutes to open his account in a Group G opener with Tunisia.

After seeing a towering header from John Stones cleared off the line, Kane’s predatory instincts had him waiting in the right place to tap home.

That was his 15th effort on goal in major finals, with that figure proving to be lucky for a man who will be hoping that there are many more goals to come as England chase down a first senior title since 1966.

"It's magic. So proud of the lads, it's tough," Kane told BBC Sport after the final whistle. "We played really well in the first half and could have got more, we deserved to be ahead.

"I've not seen the penalty back but it didn't look like one. Credit to the lads, we kept going. Absolutely buzzing."

England’s bright start against Tunisia saw them create several chances outside of Kane’s opener, with Gareth Southgate getting the response he wanted from an exciting young squad which has been freed of the pressure piled on previous teams at major tournaments.

They were, however, to see all of that hard work undone just past the half-hour mark when Kyle Walker conceded a needless penalty and Ferjani Sassi converted from the spot.

The Three Lions and their skipper were not to be denied, though, with Kane stooping to net his second of the game in stoppage-time.

A priceless effort, which was just reward for England’s efforts, saw the Tottenham man reach 15 efforts for his country in just 25 appearances – with only an iconic frontman who won a World Cup Golden Boot in 1986 having bettered that record.

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Kane is now very much in the hunt to land himself the Golden Boot at Russia 2018, with his brace against Tunisia placing him one behind Portugal’s hat-trick hero Cristiano Ronaldo.

England’s next outing will see them face Panama on Sunday, with it possible that a place in the last-16 could be booked in that encounter.

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