WCup England Iran Soccer
England's Bukayo Saka celebrates after scoring his side's fourth goal against Iran during the World Cup group B soccer match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium, in Doha, Qatar, on Monday. Photo: AP/Martin Meissner
fifa world cup 2022

Saka, Rashford help England rout Iran 6-2

27 Comments
By JAMES ROBSON

When Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford last walked off the field at a major international soccer tournament, they were bombarded with racist abuse.

Three goals for England in the team's opening match at this year's World Cup was their immediate riposte.

Saka scored two before giving way to Rashford, who added another in the second half of England's 6-2 rout of Iran on Monday.

The jubilant scene at the Khalifa International Stadium was in contrast to the tears shed following England's penalty shootout loss to Italy in last year's European Championship final. Saka and Rashford both failed to convert from the spot and were targeted on social media.

“It is a moment that has been with me and will be with me forever,” said Saka, who was only 19 during Euro 2020. "But I am so blessed and so grateful to have the coaching staff, not only here with the team at England, but also at Arsenal.

“My friends and my family put their arm around me along with my teammates and the nation supported me to help me get back to a good place. I feel that love from everyone around me.”

The win also provides encouragement for coach Gareth Southgate, who has faced the most troubled period of his England tenure over the last year. In a difficult buildup to the tournament in Qatar, he was booed after a 4-0 loss to Hungary in June and was humiliated by his own fans when they chanted, “You don’t know what you’re doing.”

Hundreds of fans missed the start of Monday's match because of an issue with digital tickets. When they eventually made their way to their seats, they witnessed an utterly dominant display from England.

Jude Bellingham's first international goal opened the scoring in the 35th minute.

Saka then got his first of the match in the 43rd and Raheem Sterling added another in first-half stoppage time. Saka scored his second shortly after the hour, but Mehdi Taremi pulled one back for Iran in the 65th minute.

Rashford struck six minutes later to extend England's lead to 5-1, and Jack Grealish also stepped off the bench to score a sixth in the 90th. Taremi added another for Iran from the penalty spot deep in stoppage time after John Stones was penalized for holding Morteza Pouraliganji’s shirt in the box.

The game was delayed for several minutes in the first half when Iran goalkeeper Ali Beiranvand clashed heads with a teammate. He was eventually taken off the field on a stretcher with the score still 0-0.

His replacement, Hossein Hosseini, was left with the unenviable task of facing England's potent attack.

The match had a total of 29 minutes of stoppage time, 15 minutes in the first half and 14 in the second.

After the match, Iran coach Carlos Queiroz pleaded with fans to support the team following apparent boos during the national anthem amid protests in the nation for women's rights.

“All the Iranians in the stadium are welcome, and feel free to criticize,” he said. “Those who come to disturb the team with issues that are not only about football opinions are not welcome. They are just simple football boys. They have one dream, to play football. It is not their fault that the World Cup happens at the moment. The moral is: Let the kids play the game. They want to represent the country, represent the people.”

BRILLIANT BELLINGHAM

Bellingham had not even made his senior debut by the time of the last World Cup in 2018. Now the Borussia Dortmund midfielder is one of the most coveted players in the Europe and is expected to spark a major transfer battle at the end of the season. Monday's performance is likely to see his reputation grow even more.

KANE’S OK

Southgate said Harry Kane was not injured despite concerns when he went down under a challenge in the second half and was later substituted.

“I think Harry is fine,” the coach said. “It looked a bad tackle, but he carried on and we took him off because we thought it was a moment when we could do that.”

UP NEXT

England faces the United States on Friday and Iran takes on Wales.

© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.


27 Comments
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Well played England. Business-like performance against a woeful Iran team. Theyll be partying on the streets of London, Birmingham and Manchester as we speak! Bellingham favorite for the Golden Boot?

The USA was dominant against Wales in the first half and will be disappointed to only come away with the point.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Bellingham favorite for the Golden Boot?

Correction - Saka favorite for the Golden Boot? He is looking good.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Congratulations to the Winning side.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Good result. Maguire still contributed to Iran's first goal though. Why was he selected?

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Coming home?.. someone had to say it :0)

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Kobe White Bar OwnerToday  08:42 am JST

Coming home?.. someone had to say it :0)

Off with your head!

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Fun game especially after the first half hour. Iran will be that gimme win for U.S. and Wales.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Fun game especially after the first half hour. Iran will be that gimme win for U.S. and Wales.

How much the other teams thrash Iran by will determine the 2 who advance. I'm guessing Eng and USA.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I am all for bring what England football supporters wants to bring home.

Let get something into perspective. Iran is ranked 20th in the FIFA ranking, please correct me if I am wrong.

England is in the midst of a national footy orgasm after the first match.

I have heard that a plinth is about to be erected in Trafalgar Square for the trophy.

One match at a time.

Now if Japan was to give the Germans a footy lesson 22:00 tonight, J time on NHK, I hope, BBQ tonight.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Hapless Iran became hopeless once they lost their first keeper thru injury. However, they did expose the awful English defense in the last 10 minutes

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

“[Football] has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words it is war minus the shooting.”

Credit: George Orwell, The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell 1903-1950

Football, it brings out the best and worst, its simplicity, there are just 17 regulations/rules.

The revenue stream is however enormous, the investment for return without doubt remarkable.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It looks pretty bad for England at the moment. Not their best, certainly not going anywhere this time around old chap.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Now if Japan was to give the Germans a footy lesson 22:00 tonight, J time on NHK

tomorrow night (Wednesday)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

tooheysnew thank you, saves me the tuning in to be disappointed, and stops me firing up the BBQ.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I can’t believe that people are already calling the World Cup is Englands. Only a few matches have been played, and all I hear is England can’t lose it.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Nice win but I think they have a few issues defensively when their up against the better sides like Argentina, Brazil, Spain. Some sides just below them like Portugal could push them too. Anyway I wish them all the best!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I can’t believe that people are already calling the World Cup is Englands.

I think this is something that you want people to be saying rather than something that people are actually saying.

Only a few matches have been played, and all I hear is England can’t lose it.

Probably you heard someone say that England have a good chance and your mind translated it to, 'England think they have already won the World Cup!'.

It's quite a common thing for people to do so I wouldn't feel too guilty about being suckered.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Maguire still contributed to Iran's first goal though. Why was he selected?

He nearly got the first goal when his header hit the crossbar. No one else is so dominant in the air.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I can’t believe that people are already calling the World Cup is Englands. Only a few matches have been played, and all I hear is England can’t lose it.

I can't believe it either, because it isn't true - people are not saying that - it would be laughable to claim that following a victory over a third tier nation that barely tested England's defence.

You say that all you hear is that England can't lose it - I wonder what those sources are. NHL? BBC? Because I haven't heard it anywhere at all.

I suspect that you are creating a fictitious expectation of victory so that you can gloat when England (inevitably) don't win it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

With a massive roar the 3 Lions have made their intentions clear. Englishmen Raheem Sterling, Bukayo Saka, Rashford,  Bellingham, and Jacky have given tons of joy to dancing and singing England supporters in Qatar.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I'm hearing a lot of banter from VERY upbeat English friends on social media, and a real confidence that "football is coming home" - the most confident since the heady Sven Goran Ericsson and Beckham days of '02.

With their galaxy of megastars - from Sterling to Saka, Grealish to Bellingham and Kane - my sense is that only the Argies or Samba Boys can stop them. Just my opinion.

Gaffer Southgate truly has this pride of young lion cubs roaring.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Guys, chill, it’s Iran.

..

( smh )

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I have a lot of sympathy for Iran. I was expecting them to play better - they topped their qualifying league and have a number of good players. Their not singing the national anthem was quite a gesture. And their captain had earlier expressed sympathy for protesters in Iran. I can't imagine what pressure they were under. I hope things turn out OK for the team and their supporters.

But not to put down England's performance. They played really well. Bellingham was my pick. You never know, they might even beat Wales. :-)

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If you are watching abema TV, go the menu and change camera angles. The skycam has no commentary, just stadium sound! Hooray you can save your ears from the inane droning Japanese commentary. Sadly abema, despite being the modern digital option offers no English commentary, Naturally NHK, as they are a joke didn't offer it either.

Well done England they looked dangerous

2 ( +3 / -1 )

my sense is that only the Argies

...Did your Spidey senses not tell you the Argie pretty boys with their sleeve tattoos and slick haircuts would only look the part of footballers and forget to play against the Saudis? ;)

0 ( +2 / -2 )

flammenwerferNov. 22  11:47 pm JST

“ If you are watching abema TV, go the menu and change camera angles. The skycam has no commentary, just stadium sound! Hooray you can save your ears from the inane droning Japanese commentary. Sadly abema, despite being the modern digital option offers no English commentary, Naturally NHK, as they are a joke didn't offer it either. “

my sense is that only the Argies or Samba Boys can stop them. Just my opinion.

flammenwerferNov. 22  11:51 pm JST

” Did your Spidey senses not tell you the Argie pretty boys with their sleeve tattoos and slick haircuts would only look the part of footballers and forget to play against the Saudis? ;) “

**Lmao **(!), great comments (!), flammenwerfer.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Did your Spidey senses not tell you the Argie pretty boys with their sleeve tattoos and slick haircuts would only look the part of footballers and forget to play against the Saudis? ;)

I must admit, I had the Argies as one of the top 4 teams at the WC. I'll put my hand up and admit how wrong I was. They were outplayed by the Saudis who may go very, very deep into this tournament. Argies defense was woeful - and that old Angel Di Maria is sadly now just selected on reputation. Just a passenger. Even Messi looks old and slow now, and only a miracle will let him retire with the biggest prize.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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