England’s Fifa World Cup campaign got off to a strong start by dominating Iran in a match that was full of incidents in Doha.
Iran’s hopeless situation was made worse by the early loss of goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand to concussion following a collision with teammate Majid Hosseini. Gareth Southgate’s team cruised to victory.
Ten minutes before halftime, Jude Bellingham gave England their first World Cup goal with a powerful header from Luke Shaw’s cross.
Bukayo Saka’s fine strike and Raheem Sterling’s graceful outside-of-the-foot volley from Harry Kane’s cross sealed the victory before the break.
Before Mehdi Taremi’s superb strike gave Iran’s fans a genuine moment of joy, Saka scored his second goal after 65 minutes – but England substitute Marcus Rashford then netted another smooth, composed strike with his first involvement.
To put the gloss on an incredibly dominant display, Jack Grealish slotted home from close range after a good run and pull back by Callum Wilson.
Iran did pull another back in injury time when Taremi slotted in a penalty after a John Stones foul.
The game was played out against the backdrop of more off-field controversy here in Qatar after England were forced to ditch plans to wear the OneLove armband promoting diversity and inclusivity under threat from Fifa of players being cautioned should they carry out the gesture of support
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