Bukayo Saka scored a brace to help England produce one of the high-scoring football results of the midweek action at the World Cup. Jude Bellingham’s goal for the Three Lions got the game underway, and following goals from Bukayo Saka (43) and Raheem Sterling (45+1), they led by three goals at the break. Saka added England’s second goal of the game with another skillful finish in the second half (62), but Mehdi Taremi’s goal for Iran gave Southgate’s team a wake-up call (65). Replacement Marcus Rashford added a fifth goal for England with just his third touch (71) after entering the field, and another substitute, Jack Grealish, added a sixth (90).
Harry Maguire was fouled by Rouzbeh Cheshmi in the penalty box after Kieran Tripper’s corner, and England believed they should have received a penalty right away. Morteza Pouraliganji was holding John Stones as England’s center-backs attacked the ball, but Brazilian referee Raphael Claus denied the demands of a penalty until VAR affirmed the decisions made on the pitch. England’s early rhythm was broken when Iran’s goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand collided awkwardly with teammate Hosseini Majid while attempting to stop a dangerous Harry Kane cross.
England was prevented from keeping a clean sheet when Taremi split from Maguire to receive a pass from Ali Gholizadeh and fire a first-time shot past Pickford via the underside of the crossbar. Two of Southgate’s substitutions in the offensive helped England score further goals. Rashford added England’s fifth goal with his third touch after being freed by Kane’s pass. As a result of his selfless performance, Callum Wilson then set up Grealish for a tap-in goal that raised the score to six. Stones was adjudged to have fouled Taremi following a VAR review, and Taremi converted the ensuing penalty to keep England from matching their biggest World Cup triumph.
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