England Trounce Iran in Statement Performance
Bukayo Saka netted two goals as England routed Iran 6-2 in Group B on Monday, kicking off their World Cup journey in style. Saka’s first marker came in the 43rd minute, one of three first-half goals England would score en route to a 3-0 lead. The 21-year-old, who was making his debut on soccer’s biggest stage, struck again in the 62nd, thanks to a dazzling individual effort.
England’s other youngster, Jude Bellingham, also made his presence felt, opening the scoring in the 35th minute to become the nation’s second youngest goal scorer at just 19 years of age.
“To win by that margin, to play as we did for the majority of the game, we’ve got to be really happy,’ said England manager Gareth Southgate. “We looked ready. The players dealt with the game really well. Our press was really good, our movement was really good. I’ve got to be really happy.”
However, it wasn’t all positive for Southgate’s squad, as defender Harry Maguire left the contest in the second half due to blurred vision and did not return.
“Maguire felt ill, [he] flagged it just before the [first Iran] goal, and given the state of the game, we felt it was no point [in him] carrying on,” said Southgate.
Up next for England is a matchup with the United States on Friday.
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