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England begin World Cup campaign with big win over Iran

England begin their World Cup campaign with big win over Iran

England began their World Cup campaign today, November 21, with a 6-2 dominant win over Iran.

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The European side already had a six-game winless run before their first World Match. Jude Bellingham’s first goal for England in the 35th minute got things underway for the Three Lions before strikes from Bukayo Saka and Raheem Sterling in the 43rd and 46th minutes gave them a 3-0 lead into the half time.

Saka gave England their 4th goal in the 62nd minutes, but Gareth Southgate’s side were given a wake-up call when Mehdi Taremi pulled a goal back for Iran in the 65th minute.

Marcus Rashford came on as a substitute and added a fifth for England with just his third touch in the 71st minute. Another sub, Jack Grealish added England’s sixth in the 90th minute.

England begin their World Cup campaign with big win over Iran

Iran was awarded a penalty during injury time and Taremi kept his cool to send Jordan Pickford the wrong way.

With the contest wrapped up long before the final whistle, Southgate even had the rare opportunity to give his captain a breather, with Kane making way 15 minutes before time. Perhaps the only concern that the England boss will have ahead of Friday’s meeting with USA is whether Maguire will be able to feature after suffering a blow to the head.

The build-up to England’s first game of the 2022 World Cup and the second match of the tournament was dominated by whether or not Kane would wear the rainbow-coloured “One Love” captain’s armband expressing solidarity with the LGBT+ community, in light of speculation that he could be yellow carded for doing so.

England begin their World Cup campaign with big win over Iran

A few hours before it was due to start, the English Football Association, along with its counterparts from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Wales, issued a joint statement confirming that their captains would not wear the armband due to the threat of “sporting sanctions” from FIFA. Kane wore a FIFA-backed black armband with the slogan “No Discrimination” instead, and England’s players took the knee before kick-off as planned.

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