Following FIFA’s 2022 World Cup opening game on Sunday, England and Iran kicked off Group B’s first match on Monday at the Khalifa International Stadium, with England dominating the Iranians.
Iran has never entered the knockout stage of the World Cup and faced their first test against England, who won the World Cup in 1966 and has continuously tried to replicate that performance. 19-year-old midfielder Jude Bellingham opened the scoring for England in the first half of the match in the 35th minute, with teammate Bukayo Saka scoring England’s second goal for the day and his first in minute 43. Jamaican-born footballer Raheem Sterling continued England’s first-half supremacy with a superb goal in added time. The 27-year-old forward pushed his team’s lead to 3-0 and secured his first-ever World Cup goal out of the ten appearances he has made in the competition.
Saka earned his second goal for the day in the 62nd minute, with Iran’s Mehdi Taremi providing his team with a much-needed opening goal shortly after in the 65th minute. Matching England’s best scoreline in the country’s World Cup history, substitutes Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish netted their team’s fifth and sixth goals in the 71st and 90th minutes, respectively. But England’s chances of ending the game equaling their biggest World Cup win were thwarted by Taremi in minute 13 of stoppage time with a penalty, bringing the game to a close at 6-2.
Watch highlights below.