Gareth Southgate has issued a warning to his England team that they will exit the FIFA World Cup early if they don’t cut down their sloppiness. With ease, England defeated Iran in their Group B opener in Qatar. After trailing 3-0 in the first half due to numerous stoppages, England scored three more goals in the second half. Mehdi Taremi scored twice for Iran, while Bukayo Saka scored twice and Jude Bellingham, Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford, and Jack Grealish contributed the other goals in Doha. Southgate expressed displeasure with how his team allowed Iran to score both goals and acknowledged that England will need to improve in their upcoming match against the United States on Friday.
“We are quite happy with how the competition has started and with our attacking style. Knowing that Iran is a tough opponent to score against, our players’ movement, passing accuracy, and finishing deserve praise,” England manager Gareth Southgate said. “At the conclusion of the game, we did not need to allow two goals in that manner. Because the USA will be pursuing us with vigor, we must perform better than we did today. We’ll need to restart it. I dislike games that dragged on, and both halves had a lot of extra time. I am aware that games sometimes drift, but that won’t help us advance. To qualify, we still have a lot to accomplish.”
There were causes for concern when captain Harry Kane and defender Harry Maguire sustained injuries in the second half despite England dominating the score and the field with 78 percent of the possession. After getting injured in the 48th minute by Iran defender Morteza Pouraliganji, Kane was replaced in the 75th minute and was later seen with modest ankle strapping on his leg.
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