England kicked off their World Cup campaign with a resounding 6-1 victory over Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Al Rayyan.
Iran’s bleak situation was exacerbated by the early loss of goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand to concussion as Gareth Southgate’s team cruised to victory.
Jude Bellingham scored England’s first World Cup goal ten minutes before halftime with a powerful header from Luke Shaw’s cross. Before the halftime break, Bukayo Saka’s magnificent shot and Raheem Sterling’s graceful outside-of-the-foot volley from Harry Kane’s cross sealed the victory.
Iran’s fans were ecstatic after Mehdi Taremi’s wonderful goal after 65 minutes, but England’s merciless response saw Saka score his second and replacement Marcus Rashford score.
Following a strong run and pullback by Callum Wilson, Jack Grealish slid home from close range to cap an outstanding performance.
Iran did get one back in extra time when Taremi converted a penalty after John Stones was fouled.
Southgate’s men have moved to the top of Group B after an outstanding performance in Al Rayyan.
The Three Lions, on the other hand, will be hoping to build on their victory over Iran when they face the Americans in four days.