Ever since the 1966 football world cup, the three lions have been waiting for their next world cup glory. Every four years, they come up with a plethora of major football league stars across Europe. Though England has failed to convert all the hype and bring home the trophy time and again, the evening of day 2 at FIFA World Cup 2022 might change their fate. Garath Southgate picked up the team this year with a mix of experience and a tinge more of youth firing on all cylinders throughout the last couple of years. The combination of 26 players is not very different from the team that made it to the finals of Euro 2020.
The first match in the tournament for any team generally sets the tempo for what lies ahead. The result on monday : Eng 6 – 2 Iran is not only the perfect start for the three lions but also for the new edition to the squad like Jude Bellingham and the unfortunate duo of Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford. On the contrary, it was a dismal display by Iran who managed the position of the ball for about only 22% of the entire duration of the match. The two goals from Mehdi Taremi were near consolations, one of which came from the last play of the game.
England rattled the crossbar through Harry Maguire in the 33rd minute of the game coming as close to redemption as he could after a tumultuous start to the season at club level. Minutes later, Jude Bellingham scored a header from an exquisite luke shaw’s cross, scoring his first world cup finals goal at just the age of 19 years. England continuously dominated the proceedings, resulting in Saka and Sterling finding the back of the net twice in three minutes towards the end of the first half.
Iran made a triple change at halftime but the narrative in second half did not change much with Saka scoring his second of the game and Rashford and Grealish, the 70th minute substitutes added a goal each to their tally. Marcus Rashford scored the goal just 49 seconds after his introduction calmly finishing after good work outside the box by Harry Kane and in turn made the record of fastest goal by a substitute at the World Cup.
Iran must regroup quickly with games coming up against USA and Wales and the group still very much open. On the other hand, the win for the three lions is a good start and initial signs indicate that this may be the year when the FIFA World Cup 2022 trophy comes home!