England got off to a flying start to their World Cup campaign in Qatar as Gareth Southgate’s side roared to a 6-2 win against Iran
Jude Bellingham’s first goal for England (35) got the Three Lions going before seeing strikes from Bukayo Saka (43) and Raheem Sterling (45+1) see them run into a three-goal lead going into the break.
England extended their lead after the break as Saka added his second of the game (62) with another smart finish, but Southgate’s side were shaken up when Mehdi Taremi pulled a goal back for Iran (65).
It turned out to be just that for England as substitute Marcus Rashford added a fifth with just his third touch (71) after coming onto the field before another substitute in Jack Grealish added England’s sixth (90).
There was a small blemish near the death when referee Raphael Claus was asked by VAR to check the field monitor after John Stones allegedly pulled Taremi’s shirt. The penalty kick was awarded and Taremi remained calm to send Jordan Pickford the wrong way.
Iran’s late goal notwithstanding, it was the start Southgate, who had come under some criticism after his side’s poor form leading up to the tournament, had wanted from his side as they roared to the top of Group B.
Great moments in the game…
- 8 min: Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand viciously collides with teammate Hosseini Majid. Initially he is allowed to continue, but minutes later he signals to the bench to be substituted before being carried off the field.
- 35 min: Jude Bellingham scores his first international goal and England’s first of the tournament.
- 43 min: Bukayo Saka doubles England’s lead after grabbing Harry Maguire’s knockout and firing a fine finish past second goalkeeper Seyed Hossein Hosseini.
- 45+1 min: England take a third as Raheem Sterling turns in Harry Kane’s cross for his first World Cup goal.
- 62 min: Saka adds his second of the match as England go 4-0 against Iran.
- 65 min: Iran pull a goal back through Mehdi Taremi.
- 71 min: Sub Marcus Rashford scores with his third touch to add England’s fifth.
- 90 min: Jack Grealish rounds out big win for England after being set up by fellow substitute Callum Wilson.
- 90+13 minutes: Taremi added his second of the match from the penalty spot after John Stones was believed to have fouled the striker in the penalty area.
More to follow…
What does the result mean…
England are now the first leaders in Group B, with Iran at the table behind Wales and the US, who play later on Monday (kick-off at 7pm).
England will play the USA in their second group game on Friday 25 November at 7pm, while Iran will take on Wales at 10am on the same day.
The winners of Group B will compete against the number two of Group A, consisting of the Netherlands, Senegal, Ecuador and host country Qatar. The runners-up of group B will compete against the winners of group A.