England easily defeated Iran and added their first three points, on date 1 of Group B of the Qatar 2022 World Cup. Their next rival will be the United States.
England – Iran – Played on 11/21/2022
Without a multicolored bracelet, but with goals. The English team listened to their coach, focused on football, and thrashed a poor Iran (6-2), with a great performance from Bukayo Saka, with a brace, from Harry Kane, in an assistant version, and from Jude Bellingham who scored his first goal for the ‘Three Lions.
“It’s time to talk about football,” said Southgate in the preview, tired of the continuous questions about the Qatari situation and the little interest in the ball itself. His complaints fell on deaf ears because the previous one was colonized by the “OneLove” bracelet and its prohibition by FIFA and its veto by the English federation.
There was no last-minute surprise and Harry Kane, threatened with yellow, did not wear the bracelet. Those who did not fold were those of Carlos Queiroz, who, helped by fans fed up with the injustices in their country, denounced the atrocities of his regime. The players did not sing the anthem, they did not celebrate the goals and the protest posters in the stands were numerous.
And in the meantime, there was also football. Although it would be set aside as almost a trivial matter, this England-Iran was the second game of a World Cup that is running over the leather-based on scandals.
To make the atmosphere even more difficult, after a few minutes, a center from Kane caused Alireza Beyranvand to leave, a collision with a teammate, and a chilling image. He hit chin to chin and the goalie fell to the ground. After about ten minutes of assists, Beyranvand managed to get up, with a damaged septum, and to the disbelief of the respectable, he continued playing. It lasted barely a minute. This time it was the assists, with a stretcher, that took the goalkeeper away. He was substituted in the 19th minute for Hossein Hosseini.
Not even 20 minutes had gone by and more things had happened than in entire league days, but the goal was missing and England, very comfortable against a disappointing Iran, found the door after half an hour.
The one who broke the ice was Harry Maguire, with a pass between the lines for Mason Mount to unload on his back. Sterling, acting as a catalyst, opened the band and Luke Shaw, who is another when he wears the English shirt, put the center for Jude Bellingham’s pumped header. The first goal was with the ‘Three Lions’ shirt for the man from Dortmund and a new presentation before the general public. This boy is already on another level.
The goal dismasted Queiroz’s already unstructured team and in the following ten minutes, the game was over. Maguire reappeared for 2-0, lowering a corner, between two defenders, so that Saka placed a spectacular volley in the squad; at 3-0, Kane acted as assistant, with a cross to the near post that Sterling holed out, the fastest.
These flashes revealed that Iran’s defense was nonexistent, but its attack was not much better either. Until the addition of the first part (14 minutes), the first shot outside Iran did not arrive.
England had everything under control and it came to 4-0 from Saka, after despairing of four impassive defenders in front of him. It was a very comfortable 4-0, but England needed a little wake-up call. Out of nowhere, Mehdi Taremi, the Porto striker, won Maguire’s back and impaled the ball just off the crossbar. The goal also ended the game for the English center-back, who had to be replaced due to some kind of dizziness, but it did not alter the English victory. In fact, barely six minutes after the Iranian goal, Marcus Rashford, who had just come onto the field, cut a defender inside the box and finished comfortably with his left foot.
The ‘little hand’ lowered the rhythm of the English, who still had time to score the set, in a gift from Callum Wilson to Jack Grealish and for Eric Dier to commit a penalty that Taremi executed. Those from Southgate come out of this debut full of confidence and leaders of Group B. Wales and the United States will look for their wake later.