Home World England put six past Iran in dominant opening display | Qatar World Cup 2022 News

England put six past Iran in dominant opening display | Qatar World Cup 2022 News

by News Desk
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England were in form as they overtook a demoralized Iranian team at the Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar.

Having beaten off a demoralized Iran with goals from Bellingham, Saka, Sterling, Rashford and Grealish, England couldn’t have gotten off to a better start to their 2022 World Cup campaign.

The match got off to a slow start after Iranian keeper Alirez Beiranvand suffered a head injury when he collided with his teammate while aiming for a cross. It took over eight minutes for the keeper to move off the pitch, even though FIFA had put in place a strict concussion protocol for the tournament.

Shortly after the match resumed, England’s Harry Maguire hit a powerful header that slammed into the bar.

Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham opened the scoring in the 35th minute, leading in a header from Luke Shaw’s whip cross.

Maguire softened Shaw’s cross and got involved in England’s second in the 43rd minute after Bukayo Saka fired the ball into the top right corner.

England
Fans cheer during the Group B World Cup match between England and Iran in Doha, Qatar on November 21 [Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera]

Raheem Sterling scored three before half-time after meeting Harry Kane’s cross and manipulating the ball down the right.

The Three Lions continued to dominate in the second half, with Saka dancing past several Iranian defenders, leading it into the bottom corner and grabbing the second.

The Iranian fans who had been voicing in the first half began to leave just as Mehdi Taremi delivered a spectacular strike past the helpless Jordan Pickford.

But Iran’s hopes were fleeting. Marcus Rashford scored the fifth goal just minutes after Gareth Southgate’s introduction. The Manchester United forward showed remarkable composure, making a couple of touches before slamming into the bottom corner.

Things took a turn for the worse for Team Meri after another substitute, Jack Grealish, hit sixth.

As the match went into 10 minutes of injury time, Iran were awarded a penalty after a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) review. Talemi calmly scored his second consolation goal for the team, to the cheers of his teammates.

A win today would be a huge morale boost for England and would make them solid favorites to top the group, which also includes Wales and the United States.

Much better performance is needed to keep Iran moving forward. They have never made it past the group stage in a World Cup.

The victory over Iran was England’s second-best World Cup performance after their 6-1 victory over Panama in 2018.

The match, which was supposed to be a sporting match and had geopolitical elements, was controversial when the Iranian team refused to sing the national anthem at the start of the match.

It was a striking act of solidarity with protesters who had returned to their homes, a situation that began in September when 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in custody of Iran’s morality police.

Since then, despite a crackdown by security forces, protests have spread across the country, challenging government authority. Hundreds died in the violence.

Before Monday’s game, there were chants of “Masa Amini, say her name” among protesters outside the stadium.

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