England 6-2 Iran: Bukayo Saka brace provides perfect start for Three Lions
Bukayo Saka’s first England brace helped England on their way to their biggest ever opening day World Cup win.
Saka doubled England’s lead in the 43rd minute after the Three Lions took the lead less than ten minutes earlier in the 35th minute through a Jude Bellingham header which found the top-corner.
It was in the 46th minute that Raheem Sterling made it three, giving England a huge lead going into the break.
England made it four in the 62nd minute with Saka bagging a brace, but Iran hit back a few minutes later in the 65th through Mehdi Taremi.
Marcus Rashford sealed the deal on the 71st minute, finding the net just moments after coming on.
Jack Grealish then got on the score-sheet, tapping his chance into an open Iran net in the 90th minute.
Iran cut the deficit to four in the 113th minute, with Taremi scoring from the spot.
Gareth Southgate opted to leave Manchester City star Phil Foden out the starting line-up, surprising many around the nation.
A huge delay in play followed with Iran keeper Alireza Beiranvand forced off with suspected concussion.
As the half edged closer to the end, another Kieran Trippier corner caused Iran issues with Maguire’s header clashing against the bar.
It wasn’t long after that when Bellingham gave England a deserved lead. England’s full-backs proved crucial once again and Luke Shaw provided the midfielder with a golden chance that he took.
England soon found themselves two up when Shaw’s corner was knocked down by Maguire before finding Saka’s deadly left foot.
Quick transitioning then found Harry Kane running in-behind. The England captain managed to avoid the Iran defenders with his cross and Sterling got the all-important touch.
Saka found himself with time down the right-wing, his quick feet prevented the Iranian defender from getting near him, and his shot doubled his tally and made it four for England.
Iran struck back however, Ali Gholizadeh’s neat pass found Taremi who lost his man, allowing him the time and space to smash it beyond a helpless Jordan Pickford.
Kane then broke away and his pass found Rashford who tidily slotted it home for England’s fifth.
England didn’t rest there. Callum Wilson had acres of space; he drove forward before squaring it to Grealish giving him a satisfyingly simple finish.
Iran’s final minute penalty was converted by Taremi, but the goal was nothing more than a consolation.