Another set piece, from another awful defending, another chance late in the game and its another match-winning goal against the fourth African team in Russia - Tunisia.
After appearing to run away with Africa's first point, Taller Tunisia came short in defending Ashley Young's corner as an unmarked Harry Kane headed home the winner from close range.
The goal is the sixth time that four African teams have lost via set pieces. One for Egypt, one for Morocco, two for Nigeria and two for Tunisia.
Harry Kane's two goals save England but it particularly saved Sterling, Lingard and Rashford from an English press that would replay the squandering orgy of chances.
They would watch Sterling's fourth minute howler and ask how. England had drawn three Tunisian defenders away at the edge of the box, leaving Lingard on the left with a bedroom of space to feed Sterling across for a tap-in.
A sitter for Sterling staring at the ball in an apparent loss of concentration to connect a leg or a head to the ball.
Matching Sterling's poor concentration, Tunisia gave Lingard a close range shot in under three minutes but goalkeeper Hassen denied him.
A piledriver from Jordan Henderson was saved in the 17minute and 23minute moment cross to Manchester United wonderkid Jesse Lingard under no pressure would put pressure on himself after wasting his unmarked chance.
Attacking and hungry-looking Three Lions battered Tunisia as a fan in the stands was seen shouting painful instructions to his players under siege.
Jesse Lingard put through one on one with the keeper stabbed a shot that hit the side bar 44minute.
Goal-hungry Harry Kane ignored support around him to test the keeper who snatched the ball that was ruled as a corner.
Stones header from the resulting 11minute corner was palmed away to deny England but Tottenham star Harry was not denied as he converted the rebound.
Tunisia very often wasted time on clearing dangerous balls as they appeared to have been instructed to play from the back instead of going for the hoof.
English keeper Pickford was so bored he invested his untested energy to do an athletic leap at a rare Tunisian shot that was already going well wide in the 23-minute.
But he got a real test in a 35-minute penalty as Kyle Walker elbowed Ben Youssef from a harmless-but-hopeful cross that was yet to meet the striker in the box.
Ferjani Sassi appeared to recite verses standing behind the penalty knowing its either get your country roaring or get roasted. Pickford picked out Sassi's spot but the low shot to the left corner was not palmed out as Pickford picked the ball from the net to snatch a most unlikely equaliser.
The goal reduced England to some kind of ordinariness and gifted Tunisia with a confidence that would have otherwise been the product of their coach's team talk.
England played a 3-5-2 with Trippier and Ashley Young in more marauding wingback positions just over the centre line.
The tactic that was good enough to strangle the Tunisian three-man midfield in a 4-3-3 formation.
In the transition phase England would have five to outnumber the three-man midfield and in attack Trippier and Young would stretch the African defence to join forwards - Kane and Sterling.
In defence, the Three Lions three-backline would suddenly become five to stock bodies to disadvantage a three-prong attack.
A good tactic can force a horse to a river side, it can't force you to drink as 3-5-2 forced England into chances but it could not force England into scoring.
Tunisia content with a point contained an ordinary second-half English side fwith a five-man defensive line, forcing Gary Southgate to ring changes. Dele Alli was yanked off for his disappearing acts in the game as was Sterling who walked off to sit out his sitter.
Introductions, Loftus-Cheek, 20-year old Marcus Rashford, nearly paid off when Loftus-Cheek cheekily sent a defender the wrong away to open space for him to cut Rashford a pass from inside the corner area.
But Rashford in a rush of immaturity chose to do an 87th minute dummy for Jesse Lingard to convert when he was in an easier position to shoot.
His dummy dummied England fans into a moment of agony over kids play.
Tunisia would paper England's poor conversion rate after a defender with the ball at the corner post and harassment from a player felt he could make a way where there seemed to be no way.
Trying to play his way out of trouble got him into trouble as he failed to clear the ball away resulting in the corner that proved fatal.
Harry Kane's 11th minute and 11th hour goals electrocuted Tunisia and electrified the fans as three points for the Three Lions was put in the bag.
Africa now looks to Senegal to show up and shore up a flattering African campaign at Russia.
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