Harry Kane pulled it out of the fire as England beat Tunisia 2-1 with a late injury-time strike.
The victory, plus three more points against Panama on Sunday, should see England through to the next stage of the World Cup.
Hopefully, all set fair for a showdown with Belgium a week on Thursday to decide who tops the group.
It took two old-fashioned England-style goals – corners headed on by first John Stones and then Harry Maguire saw Kane free and converting the opportunities.
His first with the boot, the second a clever header.
England made hard work of it – started magnificently and could arguably have been three or four up in the first 30 minutes.
But they spurned the chances, Jesse Lingard being the main culprit, and one feared the Three Lions might suffer for it.
And they did when Kyle Walker, a wing back playing centre back, was adjudged to have fouled his man in the penalty area with a wandering elbow. Sassi scored from the spot.
England were then aggrieved that two rugby tackles on Kane in the box went unpunished by an ineffective referee – disappointing because the men in the middle have been generally good so far. Where was the VAR system when England needed it?
For long periods of the second half a stuffy but toothless Tunisia looked like they would scrape an undeserved draw.
Cue Captain Kane to the rescue.
Kane, Henderson, Trippier and Stones were top quality for England. But Sterling lacked effectiveness and the laboured Dele Alli, seemingly injured, should have been pulled off long before he eventually was – a poser why Gareth Southgate failed to act earlier.
The manager will also be baffled how England could be so fluent in the first half and so ineffective in the second.
Plenty to work on but we are off to a flyer.
The Belgium game now looks like being a cracker. Especially as the Belgians easily beat Panama 3-0 with a beauty from Dries Mertens and two from Romelu Lukaku. Panama look as if they will be the whipping boys of the group. England must make sure they put them away, then bring on the Belgians.
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