DOHA : England started their FIFA World Cup 2022 campaign with an emphatic 6-2 win over Iran in their opening Group B match.
A brace from Bukayo Saka and strikes by Jude Bellingham and Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish helped England complete the rout. Mehdi Taremi also scored a brace for Iran including a consolation goal from the penalty spot in the dying seconds.
Gareth Southgate’s call to start Saka ahead of Manchester City’s Phil Foden was vindicated, while his decision to stick with stalwarts Harry Maguire and Raheem Sterling despite their poor club form also paid dividends.
Sterling made it 3-0 at halftime after Jude Bellingham headed his maiden international goal and Saka lashed into the top corner from Maguire’s knockdown.
Mehdi Taremi got Iran on the scoresheet midway through the second half and netted a penalty deep into stoppage time, but that was scant consolation as further strikes from Saka and substitutes Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish once again demonstrated the taste Southgate’s England have for tournament football.
England vs. Iran final score
Times of India and Sporting News