England's World Cup 2018 voyage has begun, and Gareth Southgate's young Lions got off to the best possible start, as Harry Kane's injury-time victor against Tunisia gave them their first victory in their first match at a major tournament since 2006.
Kane, scorer of a remarkable 59 Premier League goals in the past two seasons, was even goaded by a Russian reporter in the pre-match press conference about his lack of silverware. First Kane was wrestled to the floor by Fakhreddine Ben Youssef after 39 minutes and then again by Yassine Meriah seven minutes into the second half.
That's some turnaround, especially as Maguire only made his global debut last October and plays for a team that hovered in the middle of the Premier League for most of last season.
That said, one man who wasn't phased by the insect plague at all was Tunisian head coach Nabil Maaloul, who was too gosh-darned preoccupied to notice it.
Speaking after the game 20-year-old Manchester United attacker Marcus Rashford, who did well after coming on a second half sub, admitted that his team-mates were delighted to get their World Cup campaign off to a positive start.
The Tottenham striker hit the back of the net twice on his World Cup debut in England's 2-1 win over Tunisia, but this was not enough for Merson.
After some early nerves, he grew stronger during the match and defended solidly. The referee gave the England wing back a talking to and that was it.
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Later, he declared during remarks at a hotel that he had no choice but to remove children from their parents at the border. In the seven-minute tape, children who were reportedly aged four to 10, could be heard crying out for the parents.
But Harry Maguire won a header from a corner and Kane was on hand at the far post to nod in the victor before being mobbed by his ecstatic teammates.
The only thing that matters is the win, and England managed to walk away with all three points.
"It shows the work we have put in these last few weeks", Walker said. "We should have been out of sight at halftime".
"I want to prove myself at a major tournament, be up there with the best in the world and the only way to do that is to perform in the big moments".
"The offences were so clear that I was surprised, and disappointed, that the Brazilian referee Sandro Ricci in the VAR studio in Moscow didn't get involved", he said. "We kept going. We spoke a lot about togetherness and we've got a great bond together", he said.
The numbers eclipse the viewing figures for last month's royal wedding, which saw 13.1 million tuning in to see Prince Harry and Meghan's big day.
"But after that it got worrying; it really fizzled out".
Maguire's experience against Tunisia will surely help for tougher matches to come.