England impressed, struggled but ultimately secured a narrowly deserved victory thanks to Kane nodding home a 91st minute corner.
But there can be no denying the value of the feel-good factor that will now infuse England ahead of Sunday's Group G encounter with Panama in Nizhny Novgorod. Tunisia meet Belgium on Saturday.
England begins their 2018 FIFA World Cup run today against Tunisia as the third and final soccer game on today's schedule. We've spoken a lot about togetherness.
Both sets of players were bugged by swarms of mosquitoes and midges in the warm-up but England were not distracted come kick-off.
Tunisia suffered a further setback in the 16 minute when goalkeeper Mouez Hassan had to leave the field injured and was replaced by Farouk Ben Mustapha.
Tunisia finally got a sight on goal when Fakhreddine Ben Youssef headed wide from a Ali Maaloul cross.
As half-time approached England worked a clever free-kick situation with the ball falling to Lingard unmarked, but he could only hit his shot against a defender.
"A few corners, they were trying to grab, hold and stop us running. Maybe [there was] a bit of justice at the end".
England won the opening match of a major tournament for the first time since 2006 as they beat Tunisia 2-1 in Russian Federation. "But even at 1-1, I was really proud of our performance".
However, Harry Maguire flicked a Kieran Trippier delivery into the path of Kane, who made no mistake from point-blank range to break Tunisian hearts.
"You go until the last second", Kane said, "and I'm absolutely buzzing".
BBC Sport's Natalie Pirks, on the ground in Volgograd, said: "They are on your face, stick to your lips, get inside your nostrils, your ears and your hair".
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