November 30 2022 5:44 PM E-paper Subscribe Sign in My Account Sign out

England crush Iran

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Iran’s goalkeeper #24 Hossein Hosseini (right) defends the goal past England’s forward #24 Callum Wilson during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on November 21, 2022. (Photo: AFP)
DOHA  — England made a scintillating start to their World Cup campaign as Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham inspired a 6–2 rout of outclassed Iran in Monday’s Group B opener in Doha.اضافة اعلان

Saka and Bellingham were England’s driving forces with dynamic displays that underlined their emergence as two of the game’s brightest young stars.

Bellingham, 19, shattered Iran’s hopes of frustrating England when he rose to head his maiden senior international goal in the first half.

Gareth Southgate’s side were in sparkling form at the Khalifa International Stadium and goals from Saka and Raheem Sterling put them in complete control before half-time.



Saka, 21, netted again after the interval and, although Mehdi Taremi struck twice for Iran, Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish completed the demolition.

There will be far sterner tests to come for England as they bid to win their first major trophy since the 1966 World Cup.

But this was a welcome step in the right direction for Southgate, whose team arrived in Qatar on a six-match winless run that triggered scathing criticism of the Three Lions boss and his perceived negative tactics.

The only concern for Southgate was the sight of Harry Maguire being replaced in the second half after being checked for a potential head injury.

England play their second match against the US on Friday and conclude their Group B fixtures against Wales on November 29.

The match took place against the background of turmoil in Iran after months of female-led demonstrations sparked by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman of Kurdish origin who was arrested by the morality police in Tehran.

Iran’s players refused to sing their national anthem in apparent support for anti-government protesters.


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