After England’s last gasp winner against Tunisia in their opening World Cup game in Russia, there were likely plenty of celebrations taking place across the country. In the midst of all those wild festivities, here’s five things that you may have potentially missed about the game in Volgograd.
1. Harry Kane vs Wayne Rooney
Harry Kane’s two goals in his first ever World Cup meant the Spurs star has now already scored more World Cup goals than England’s record goalscorer, Wayne Rooney. Rooney, with 53 international goals to his name, went to three World Cups in his career – 2006, 2010 and 2014 – and only scored once. That goal came against Uruguay in Brazil four years ago. There was no doubt about his goal-scoring in qualifiers and friendlies where he got most of his goals. Yet, Rooney failed to shine internationally on the big stage, often receiving most of the criticism for England’s failure’s at major tournaments. He also went into some tournaments in bad form or injured.
2. Kane on the road to records
Harry Kane will be looking to get more goals against Panama in England’s next game and put himself in pole position to win the World Cup Golden Boot. After that, he may look to break the English record of 10 World Cup goals set by Gary Lineker back in the 1986 and 1990 tournaments. Kane’s brace was likewise the first time an English player had scored two goals in a World Cup game since Lineker did so against Cameroon in 1990. Kane may then be on track to overtake Rooney once again and become England’s record goalscorer. He already has 15 England goals in 25 games, which is mightily impressive, and could easily surpass any record he wants in an England shirt the way he is going.
3. Stoppage time winner
England’s win was the first time they have won their opening World Cup group game in 12 years and only the third time since 1986. That was back in 2006 when England beat Paraguay 1-0 under Sven-Goran Eriksson. England have also never scored more than one goal in their last ten World Cup matches before Monday’s result. However, for the first time, a new record was created. Harry Kane – that man again – became the first England player ever to score an injury-time winner in a World Cup game.
4. Highest viewing figures this year
England against Tunisia was so highly anticipated that it became the most-watched TV programme of 2018 so far. The game in Volgograd was watched by over 21 million people overall, making up more than two-thirds of all TV viewers (69.2%). It attracted a peak audience of 18.3 million people in the final stages of the game, shown on BBC One. Furthermore, over 3 million people streamed it on BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website, making it the highest ever live audience for a BBC online programme. The audience for this match was higher than the Royal Wedding and the previous most-watched programme of the year, Britain’s Got Talent. England usually have large viewing figures when they play in a World Cup, with the largest ever UK audience being recorded at 25.2 million when England played West Germany in the semi-final in 1990.
5. Kieran Trippier’s celebration
Harry Kane’s late winner sent everyone into euphoria. All England players naturally went wheeling away in jubilation, causing a massive pile up in the corner. Everybody went apart from one player – Kieran Trippier – who stayed inside Tunisia’s half. This was because FIFA law states one player must remain in the opposition half in order for play not to kick off. If all players leave the pitch (as everyone else did), the opposition can restart play again. If Trippier had gone off celebrating, Tunisia would have been allowed to hit England on the break from kick off – essentially all their players against Jordan Pickford. Interestingly, it isn’t the first time this situation has happened at this World Cup. Portugal did the same when Cristiano Ronaldo scored against Spain. Nevertheless, it showed great understanding of the game and composure of the situation from Trippier considering the circumstances.