England Makes Big World Cup Statement. With a 6-2 hammering of Iran, England began their 2022 World Cup campaign in impressive fashion, led by a brace from Bukayo Saka and contributions from Jude Bellingham, Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford, and Jack Grealish.
Before halftime, Sterling and Saka helped Gareth Southgate’s team build a comfortable 3-0 lead. Bellingham scored his first goal for England in the 35th minute.
Before Mehdi Taremi scored a consolation goal for Iran just beyond the hour mark, Saka put England further out of reach with a magnificent individual effort. However, substitutes Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish added gloss to the Three Lions’ Group B opener despite a stoppage-time penalty from Taremi.
Key Stats (England Makes Big World Cup Statement)
Jude Bellingham was the first player born in this century to score at a World Cup.
Bellingham is England’s third-youngest World Cup goal scorer at the age of 19 years and 145 days. Michael Owen scored twice at the 1998 World Cup at 18 years, 191 days, and 18 years, 198 years.
At 21 years and 77 days old, Bukayo Saka made history by scoring multiple goals at a World Cup as a member of England.
It had been years since England opened a FIFA World Cup with three goals, and this was the first time they had done it in the tournament’s first half.
Marcus Rashford became England’s fourth World Cup substitute to score and the first since Steven Gerrard scored against Sweden in 2006.
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Harry Kane, who played for England, became the first player since David Beckham in 2006 to record two assists in a World Cup game against Trinidad & Tobago.
England Makes Big World Cup Statement. Along with the six goals they scored in their 6-1 victory over Panama in 2018, England’s six goals against Iran were the most they have ever scored in a FIFA World Cup game.
Germany and England are the only teams in the last 30 World Cups to each score six or more goals in their opening game. Germany defeated Saudi Arabia 8-0 in Game 1 of the 2002 semifinals en route to a losing finish.
Beljium Jistifies Hype
Bellingham justifies the hype, giving England hope that a central midfielder who can bring dynamism and inventiveness to a position England has lacked for years is finally coming into his own. Since the team’s march to the Euro 2020 final the previous year, this is the biggest turnover in his England squad.
Because of this, the 19-year-old was under a lot of pressure when he made only his ninth international debut and became the third-youngest player to start an England World Cup game on Monday.
There was not much that could have gone better. Bellingham scored the game’s opening goal after 35 minutes with a superb header past Luke Shaw.
The apex of a first half that saw him complete all 40 of his attempts—10 of which came in the last third—was this. Thanks to his goal, he became the first athlete born in the twenty-first century to score at a World Cup.
England Makes Big World Cup Statement. Bellingham was instrumental in England’s third goal, which Raheem Sterling first-timed at the near post. He moved forward and connected with Kane.
Bellingham already seems essential to giving the right kind of support to England’s attacking players. Although there is still a long way to go, this was a very positive beginning that undoubtedly caught the attention of the major teams looking to sign the Borussia Dortmund star.
Iran _ A Political One
One Love anti-discrimination armbands were the source of controversy earlier in the day as England tried to make a political statement; nevertheless, the day ended with Gareth Southgate’s team securing a resounding triumph with a football victory.
England abandoned the gesture just three hours before kickoff, putting captain Harry Kane in danger of receiving a yellow card because FIFA declined to give the seven countries intended to wear the special armband clearance.
The argument, however, and a 10-minute delay caused by Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand’s concussion and attempt to continue before making his substitution in a bizarre and perplexing display of the allegedly initiated protocols had little effect on England’s performance.
What on paper appeared to be a difficult encounter was turned into a stroll in the park at the Khalifa International Stadium by three goals in an 11-minute flurry.
The Iranian players’ refusal to sing the national anthem before kickoff was a show of support for protesters in their home nation. It may have been the greatest act of defiance, despite England kneeling before the game in a continuation of their anti-racism message from last summer’s belated Euros.
England puts its best foot forward.
Some claim that England is overly cautious when Gareth Southgate deploys a back three, but they are typically more aggressive when using a back four.
England’s recurring tournament difficulties shaped Southgate’s viewpoint. Before his appointment in 201, he was losing the ball in midfield and being overly predictable in open play. To name just two examples, he frequently prefers the security of an additional central defender to help counteract these limitations.
A closely packed and well-drilled Iranian team, albeit one overly devoted to defending until the game was lost, could not compete. The goals were scored by substitutes Marcus Rashford. Jack Grealish highlighted the variety of attacking qualities at Southgate’s disposal.
Mehdi Taremi scored a good consolation goal in the 65th minute before adding a second deep in stoppage time for a penalty awarded on VAR review, but this will only fuel calls for Southgate to let go of the handbrake. There were still some problems with defense.
Effects of Impressive Performance by England
England may feel that Friday’s Group B match against the United States (kickoff at 2 pm ET) cannot come soon enough after their outstanding performance against Iran. The Americans, however, have a better record than the Three Lions because they stunned them by winning 1-0.
In the 1950 World Cup, tied 1-1 in the 2010 competition. England Makes Big World Cup Statement. On November 29 at 14:00 ET, they play Wales, a team they defeated 2-1 in their final tournament match at Euro 2016, to finish the group stage.
Iran plays Gareth Bale and co. on Friday at 5 am. ET, followed by a rematch of their memorable 1998 World Cup match against the USA on November 29 at 2 pm ET.