Doha: England started their World Cup 2022 campaign in style decimating Iran 6-2 at the Khalifa International Stadium here.Bukayo Saka scored a brace for the English team while Jude Bellingham, Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish scored a goal each.Iran suffered a huge blow when their goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand collided with his teammate Majid Hosseini.
Beiranvand had to be stretchered out in the 19th minute. England gave a dominant performance which combined skill with speed. Jude Bellingham got England off the mark in the World Cup 2022 scoring a goal in the 35th minute. Eight minutes later, Bukayo Saka doubled the lead for Gareth Southgate’s side to give them a 2-0 lead. Raheem Sterling made it 3-0 in the injury time of the first half. England went into half-time with a healthy lead of 3-0.
In the second half, Saka scored his second goal of the match to make it 4-0 as he found the net in the 62nd minute. Three minutes later Iran too managed to find the nets as Mehdi Taremi scored the team’s first goal of the tournament and the scoreline read 4-1 in the English side’s favour. Marcus Rashford helped England restore their four-goal lead as he struck the fifth goal for his side to take a 5-1 lead.
Jack Grealish too joined the party scoring in the 89th minute as England stretched their lead to 6-1. Iran came close to scoring another goal as Sardar Azmoun raced through in stoppage time, but Jordan Pickford produced a fingertip save to turn his effort onto the bar. Iran got a late penalty after a VAR check for a foul on Morteza Pouraliganji which resulted in Taremi scoring his second goal of the match. The match ended with a 6-2 in England’s favour.
The English team was a far more superior side on the day enjoying 78 per cent of the possession in comparison to Iran who managed only 22 per cent.
England also had seven shots on target compared to Iran, with only three shots on target. England had eight corners in comparison to Iran which had none. Iran committed 14 fouls while England did 9.England created opportunities through the match and converted many of them into brilliant goals. England will now face USA and Wales in their next encounters.