Yet there was a certain naivety about Tunisia during the latter stages, both in the way substitute Ben Amor carelessly conceded a late corner, and the way in which that fateful set-piece was defended.
Gary Neville believes beating Tunisia allows England to be more relaxed going into their second game with Panama.
The moment Harry Kane had waited so long for was finally here, but the pressure was on.
"For 20 minutes they were vibrant, mobile, belligerent", says Barney Ronay, for the Guardian. John Stones leapt up and headed towards the net, but somehow Tunisian goalkeeper Mouez Hassen pulled off a David Seaman-esque save, which then, nearly harshly, fell at the feet of Kane, who tapped the ball home. Not the hardest one to score in his career, but surely one of the most important.
The rest of his first half was largely anonymous. We thought we would give him 60 minutes but he played throughout. England's chances all fell to other players and Kane was merely on the periphery of everything, not involved enough.
Kane was also at the centre of another of the game's major talking points when he was twice grappled to the floor inside the Tunisia area , with referee Wilmar Roldan neglecting to point to the spot despite penalising Kyle Walker for a seemingly lesser offence earlier in the contest.
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 victor. "It showed good character".
Ex-Three Lions defender Rio Ferdinand said: "We thoroughly deserved that victory and there will be teams out there that will be saying that if they get through we don't want to come up against them". "We just have to hope the officials get it right more often than not". "These are not half chances, these are very, very good chances that we should be putting in the back of the net".More news: Melbourne Woman Found Dead In Park Identified As Eurydice Dixon
Kane opened the scoring in the 11th minute which a poacher's finish before securing the win with a back post header to claim all three points for England.
Harry Kane sent England fans into a frenzy with his 91st-minute victor in England's World Cup opener against Tunisia.
He was fortunate that Jesse Lingard neither went down nor avoided the woodwork after tearing out to deny the Manchester United man in the second half, and was at fault for Harry Kane's late victor at his near post.
With the north Africans happy to take a 1-1 result, England looked as if they were going to pay for their lack of composure as the minutes ticked away. We spoke a lot about togetherness. Then came elimination from Euro 2016 at the hands of tiny Iceland.
England came out of the blocks at pace and could have been in front after just three minutes when Jesse Lingard saw his close-range effort superbly kept out by Mouez Hassen.
Lineker tweeted the statistic on Tuesday, saying it was "astonishing for an opening group game" and putting it down to "the power of football and the World Cup". You never know how it will go. "We'll get on that plane happy tonight". "We made the fans here in the stadium happy and back home as well". "A few corners, they were trying to grab, hold and stop us running", said Kane. He now has eight goals in six games as captain.
It would have been such a pre-Gareth Southgate England thing to do. Right now, it is him carrying his team instead.