Categories: News

Photos: Saka and Bellingham sparkle as England crush Iran

England got off to a bright start to their World Cup campaign as Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham inspired a 6-2 win over Iran in Monday’s Group B opener in Doha.

Saka and Bellingham were England’s driving forces with dynamic displays that underscored their emergence as two of the game’s brightest young stars.

The 19-year-old Bellingham dashed Iran’s hopes of thwarting England when he headed in their first senior international goal in the first half. The goal made Bellingham England’s youngest goalscorer at a World Cup since Michael Owen in 1998 and the first player born in 2000 or later to score in the final.

Gareth Southgate’s side were in top form at the Khalifa International Stadium and goals from Saka and Raheem Sterling put them in full control before half time.

Saka, 21, scored again after the break and although Mehdi Taremi scored twice for Iran, Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish completed the takedown.

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There will be much tougher tests for England as they try to win their first major trophy since the 1966 World Cup.

But this was a welcome step in the right direction for Southgate, whose team entered Qatar on a six-match winless run that drew scathing criticism of the Three Lions boss and his perceived negative tactics.

The only concern for Southgate was seeing Harry Maguire being substituted in the second half after being checked for a possible head injury.

England play their second game against the United States on Friday and conclude their Pool B games against Wales on November 29.

Jacky

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