England got their World Cup campaign off to a strong start on Monday, thrashing Iran 6-2 in the opening Group B game of the 2022 World Cup.
After getting the game off to a slow start, the Three Lions finally penetrated the Iranian defense in the 35th minute when Jude Bellingham opened the scoring. Bukayo Saka and Raheem Sterling then scored in quick succession to hand England a three-goal lead going into the half-time break.
While Porto striker Mehdi Taremi pulled a goal back for Iran in the 65th minute, further goals from Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford, and Jack Grealish put the game out of Iran’s reach. Taremi doubled his tally in the 13th minute of stoppage time after Iran was awarded a penalty.
Apart from the goings-on on the field, the game was riddled with controversy, with England making a last-minute decision not to have captain Harry Kane wear a “One Love” captain’s armband after FIFA threatened disciplinary action. In addition, Iran’s players did not sing the national anthem in what is being considered a protest action against the government crackdown on popular protests.
This victory sees England go top of the group with three points, while fellow group members Wales and the United States faced off later on in the day.