England World Cup opener: A Qatari Party for our Three Lions

2KG3B5W Al Rajja, Qatar. 21st Nov, 2022. Soccer, World Cup 2022 in Qatar, England – Iran, preliminary round, Group B, Chalifa International Stadium, England’s Marcus Rashford cheers with teammates after his goal to make it 5-1. Credit: Robert Michael/dpa/Alamy Live News

England smashed Iran 6-2 in the Group B World Cup opener with a dominant performance with goals from Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka , Raheem Sterling and substitutes Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish.

The first half was a mixed bag to begin with for England, with a long injury delay for Alireza Beyranvand’s accident with Majid Hosseini that sent him off with a swollen nose.

However, just around the 35 minute mark, up comes Jude Bellingham with a looping header for his first World Cup goal at just 19 years of age. This of course gave England the lead which helped them settle. Then just under 10 minutes later Bukayo Saka arrived on the scene to make it 2-0 England. Another young lion who is starting to settle into the England side is Bukayo and what a goal it was with him striking over the diving Iranian goalie.

The game was now almost certainly England’s with their high control of possession and unstoppable attacking pace.

The half was them topped off with a third goal on the stroke of 45 minutes from Sterling. The game was almost certain as over now, As half time approached 14 minutes of time was added on. One of the longest amounts of time added on in World Cup history. The added time was uneventful bar a few missed chances for England. But there was no need to worry.

This was England’s game to lose.

The second half was dominant for England (bar a 65th min cameo from Iran and Mehdi Taremi.) With Marcus Rashford coming onto the pitch and on song to score a great goal in the 71st minute making Gareth Southgate feel like the substitution was worth it. The England domination was topped off with Manchester City player Jack Grealish popping one in to seal the game at 6-2.

The only remaining moment in the game was a confusing penalty given to Iran which made the game 6-2 but in the end the game was England’s.

After a worrying Nations League most were returning to default pessimistic mode and had no hope. This game should reignite the love for England and ensure that the nation get the positive vibes it surely needs right now.