Kane comes out on top in battle of ex-Orient players
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Two players with links to Leyton Orient lined up on opposite teams on Monday evening in a 2018 World Cup match
Monday’s World Cup Group G match between Tunisia and England surprisingly had two Leyton Orient connections, but it was no shock to see Harry Kane triumph ahead of Syam Ben Youssef.
The duo played for the O’s at the beginning of their careers and have come a long way since which culminated in their battle on the biggest world stage.
Ben Youssef’s time at Brisbane Road was brief and back in 2012 when Russell Slade snapped up the young centre back.
He went on to make nine appearances for Orient in League One between March 6 and May 5 with six of them starts.
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Kane’s loan spell at the O’s is more famed with the then-teenager spending time in E10 at the start of 2011 and scoring five goals in 18 appearances.
Several years after spending time in east London, the duo went head-to-head last night and despite a fairly close battle it was the Englishman who triumphed.
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Kane got the upper-hand in the 11th minute when he tapped home following a corner with Ben Youssef not close enough to prevent the Spurs forward scoring.
England were well on top at this point, but slowly Tunisia grew into the game and the defensive involvement of the ex-Orient man decreased.
Ben Youssef showed some nice touches at the back and had to make an important clearance in the 31st minute when Dele Alli tried to pick out Kane.
It proved crucial as four minutes later Tunisia equalised from the penalty spot and it remained 1-1 until half time.
After the break, Ben Youssef initially impressed with a couple of successful duels with Kane in the 55th and 68th minute.
The one-time O’s centre back did make a mistake with 13 minutes left, however, when he fouled Alli in a dangerous position, but fortunately for him the free kick went over.
As the seconds ticked away, it seemed the battle between the ex-Orient players would end all square until Kane came up trumps in stoppage time.
Ben Youssef was beaten in the air by Harry Maguire and could only watch on in horror as another former Orient player was on hand to head home from close range.
It was deserved for England and Kane will hope it is the start of a special tournament for him while Ben Youssef will aim to help Tunisia bounce back against Belgium on Saturday and potentially aid Three Lions’ cause in the process.