DOHA: England scripted a perfect start to their FIFA World Cup 2022 campaign as Gareth Southgate’s side thrashed Iran 6-2 in the first Group B fixture at the Khalifa International Stadium here on Monday.
England underlined their title credentials in their first FIFA World Cup match against struggling Iran and put on a dominant show.
Southgate’s side tasted their first success in the 35th minute when Jude Bellingham, unmarked on the penalty spot, guided Luke Shaw’s assist to leave Iran’s goalkeeper Hossein Hosseini clueless as the ball blasted into the nets.
Midfielder Bukayo Saka then doubled England’s lead in the 43rd minute after Harry Maguire kicked from the corner and Kieran Trippier nodded it to Saka who let it bounce in front of him before firing it into the post on the bounce.
The European side were in hot form at the Khalifa International Stadium and a goal from Raheem Sterling off Harry Kane’s assist put them in a commanding position before the half-time mark.
Saka then scored again after the break to retain England’s dominance before Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish joined the scoring to add further to Iran’s misery.
Mehdi Taremi, however, scored twice for Iran, including a consolation goal on the penalty that came in the closing moments of the game after John Stones committed a foul on Taremi by holding the latter’s shirt.
Taremi’s twin strikes turned out insufficient for Iran as England ran away with an emphatic 6-2 victory to start their world cup campaign in style.