(CBS Sports) – The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia continues with wins for Sweden and Belgium, and the round 1 match between England and Tunisia.
England Beats Tunisia, 2-1
England avoided an early stumble at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia on Monday, turning what appeared to be a draw against Tunisia in Group G into three points. Level 1-1 late, Harry Kane converted on corner kick, heading home from close range in the 91st minute as the Europeans earned a 2-1 victory. For the first time since the 2006 World Cup in Germany, the English national team starts group stage play with three points.
That’s quite the win for England. Though it was a narrow result, the team looked good in the final third when it came to passing and creating chances. This will give Kane even more confidence, but it’s tough to swallow for Tunisia, who felt like they had a point in the bag. Next up for Tunisia is Belgium on Saturday, while England takes on Panama on Sunday.
Sweden Beats South Korea, 1-0
Sweden locked up three crucial points at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia after converting a video assistant referee-confirmed penalty kick in the second half to beat South Korea, 1-0, on Monday. In a back-and-forth match that saw South Korea look like the stronger team early and at the very end, Sweden managed to control the majority of the middle of the match. Sweden had 15 shots, five on frame, while holding South Korea to zero shots on goal.
It was a sloppy match from the South Koreans, who had space and moments in the final third by the crucial pass to set up a shot just wasn’t there. Then in the second half, VAR confirmed a penalty kick for Sweden after a challenge in the box, and the Swedish captain Andreas Granqvist converted the spot kick for the match’s lone goal.
Belgium Beats Panama, 3-0
Also on Monday, Belgium notched three points in its 2018 World Cup opener despite a poor first half against Panama. The Red Devils struggled with Panama’s physical play in the first half and couldn’t get one past Jaime Penedo, but in the second half the attack came alive, and it wore the Central American side down on the way to a 3-0 victory.
All three goals were scored in the second half. Dries Mertens scored the first goal and Romelu Lukaku scored the final two goals, scoring twice in seven minutes. While Panama loses its first ever World Cup match, it was still an admirable showing for the Panamanians, who hung tough in the first half.