World Cup Qatar 2022. England, with the wisdom of Kane and the freshness of the new generation, thrashed Iran and stands as a candidate

Posted 2022/11/22 33 0

DOHA.- The England team, the country that holds the club league considered the most powerful and attractive on the planet (the Premier League), had a stupendous debut in the World Cup in Qatar. At times, he was a machine, and he shone in the opening of Group B, beating Iran 6-2. With captain Harry Kane as the top reference in attack, the team led by Gareth Southgate showed freshness, players who have youth, good technical conditions and deployment. If before the World Cup it was considered one of the favorites to go far, the win (beyond the fragility of the rival team), but above all its performance, elevates it as one of the most serious teams.

England figure Bukayo Saka scores second goal against Iran
England figure Bukayo Saka scores second goal against IranRichard Heathcote – Getty Images Europe

The new and talented generation of English football, represented by Jude Bellingham (19 years old, plays for Borussia Dortmund) and Bukayo Saka (21; from Arsenal), was the protagonist in the debut of the Three Lions in Doha. The English goals were scored by Bellingham, Saka (two), Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish (Julián Álvarez’s teammate at Manchester City), while Porto striker Mehdi Taremi managed to “save the honour” for Iran with a double (the last one, from a penalty, in stoppage time in the second period).

“We needed a good start, we didn’t play the best games before the tournament. But we show everyone how much quality we have and what we can do. We have the next game in a few days and we have to try to play this way again,” Saka, one of the figures, told the BBC. England’s next challenge will be on Friday, against the United States; they will close the area against Wales on Tuesday of next week.

Latest: Jack Grealish celebrates England's sixth goal against Iran
Latest: Jack Grealish celebrates England’s sixth goal against IranLaurence Griffiths – Getty Images Europe

Except in the first half hour, in which the game suffered interruptions and the Asians tried to be ordered despite losing their starting goalkeeper, Alireza Beiranvand, due to injury (he was substituted after colliding with a teammate and suffering a very hard blow to the partition), England was a large dominator. The Iranians could do nothing against the gale that approached them from minute 32, when defender Harry Maguire gave the first warning by crashing a header into a post. Three minutes later, the English opened the scoring with another header, this time from Bellingham, after a cross from the left by Luke Shaw, which was the first international goal for the young Dortmund playmaker. From that moment everything precipitated and England was a football festival.

Bellingham became England’s youngest goalscorer at a World Cup since Michael Owen in 1998, and the first player born in 2000 – or later – to score at the World Cup. The player for whom Liverpool would be willing to spend 100 million pounds (118 million dollars) to sign him, made an exhibition that, according to the British press, sometimes resembled that of former midfielders Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard .

Bukayo Saka, one of the most prominent in England vs.  Iran
Bukayo Saka, one of the most prominent in England vs. IranJulian Finney – Getty Images Europe

It was a difficult sporting and emotional challenge for the Iranian players, it’s true. Before the match began, none of the headlines sang their country’s anthem as a sign of support for the demonstrations that have shaken Iran for two months and that began with the death of the young Mahsa Amini (22 years old) after being arrested for breaching the strict dress code that governs the Islamic Republic. It is clear that the footballers led by the Portuguese Carlos Queiroz experienced dissimilar feelings, but beyond the spirit with which they faced their debut in Qatar 2022, it is clear that the English were far superior.

Who deserved a separate paragraph was Kane, the Tottenham player. He took to the pitch wearing a black “No Discrimination” armband a few hours after the seven European teams ruled out wearing the anti-discrimination “One Love” campaign bracelet, which included a multicolored heart, after FIFA threatened to show a yellow card to the captains. Beyond that disappointment, Kane was emotionally whole. He did not score goals, it is true, but he had the performance of a football sage: he participated in most of the British actions, he pivoted, he was a beacon for his teammates, he dropped back to join the game circuit…, he did practically everything right. He was substituted 30 minutes into the second half by Callum Wilson and earned a standing ovation from the crowd.

Mehdi Taremi, scorer of Iran's two goals against England
Mehdi Taremi, scorer of Iran’s two goals against EnglandJulian Finney – Getty Images Europe

The 45,334 spectators who attended the Khalifa International Stadium (total capacity is 68,000 people) left convinced they had seen the team that, if it continues like this, will be one of the great candidates to reach the final on December 18.

The best of England’s win


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