Report on England six-hit World Cup opening victory over Iran. England’s first goal was scored by Bellingham. Goals by Saka and Sterling propelled them to a quick 3-0 lead. Saka scored the game’s second goal; Grealish and Rashford completed Doha’s impressive victory; Iran’s two consolation goals came from Taremi.
The Three Lions got things started with a goal from Jude Bellingham (35). After goals from Bukayo Saka (43) and Raheem Sterling (45+1), they had a three-goal lead at the half.
Saka added his second goal of the match for England in the second half with another deft finish (62). But Mehdi Taremi’s goal for Iran served as a wake-up call for Southgate’s team.
With just his third touch (71) after entering the field, replacement Marcus Rashford. Added a fifth goal for England, and another substitute, Jack Grealish, added a sixth (90).
A minor hiccup occurred right before the final whistle when referee Raphael Claus was prompted by VAR to check the pitchside monitor after John Stones was found to have pulled Taremi’s shirt. When the penalty was given, Taremi handled himself well and misdirected Jordan Pickford.
Despite Iran’s late goal, it was the start Southgate could only have imagined as his team roared to the top of Group B. Southgate had faced some criticism due to his team’s poor run of form leading up to the tournament.
Alireza Beiranvand, the goalie for Iran, violently bumps with teammate Hosseini Majid in the eighth minute. He is originally permitted to carry on. But a few minutes later he signals to the bench to be replaced before being carried off the field on a stretcher.