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Monday, June 15, 1998 Published at 14:36 GMT 15:36 UK


Sport: Football

England beat Tunisia

Alan Shearer (right) put England 1-0 at half-time

England have beaten Tunisia 2-0 in their opening World Cup game in Marseille.

Alan Shearer headed England in front three minutes before half-time when he rose to meet Graeme Le Saux's free-kick, following a long period of England pressure.

Paul Scholes got the second moments before the end with a wonderful shot which curled inside the far post, after he had latched on to a ball from Paul Ince and made himself some space.


[ image: Paul Scholes celebrates his goal]
Paul Scholes celebrates his goal
Shearer's goal capped a spell of concerted attacking by England after the lively Tunisians had shaded the first half-hour of the game. The North Africans had given England an early scare when Sol Campbell had to sprint back to clear from Skander Souayah after a mistake by Tony Adams.

The Tunisian goalkeeper, Chokri El-Ouaer, also kept his side in the game with three good saves.

First he pushed away Scholes' header from point-blank range on the half-hour mark as England finally managed to push forward. Scholes looked certain to score as Le Saux, set up by Ince, whipped in a perfect cross from the left.

Five minutes later the keeper again pulled off a great save, stretching to palm Teddy Sheringham's long-range shot onto the bar and away for a corner.

Sheringham then found room down the right and picked out Scholes in the area, but Scholes fluffed his shot and the keeper pushed it round his left-hand post.

England resumed their pressure in the second half, with Scholes again central to much of the attacking play.

England had a great chance in the 61st minute when Sheringham, on the right, put the ball across a wide open Tunisian goalmouth. Adams tried to stab the ball home but El-Ouaer blocked it. Shearer and Darren Anderton were narrowly off target from long range.

Michael Owen became the third youngest player in World Cup history when he came on for Sheringham in the 85th minute.

The Tunisians also set up a number of attacks as the game opened up. Substitute Zubeir Beya fired a fierce shot over the England crossbar in the 63rd minute. But England Goalkeeper David Seaman and his defence stood firm.

England coach Glenn Hoddle paid tribute to Shearer and Scholes after the game.

He said: "Alan's reputation goes before him, today he had a limited amount of chances and this is what a world striker can do. He can take one chance out of nothing.

"Young Paul Scholes is showing a lot of maturity, he's got good talent and today he felt at home out there. I looked at a young man playing his natural game under those circumstances and that's good to see."

The 60,000 fans in the Velodrome stadium seems to be well behaved following renewed clashes between England and Tunisian fans outside the venue in Marseille.

England team:

David Seaman, Gareth Southgate, Tony Adams, Sol Campbell, Darren Anderton, Paul Ince, David Batty, Graeme Le Saux, Paul Scholes, Alan Shearer, Teddy Sheringham (sub. Michael Owen 85).

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