Doha [Qatar], November 22 (ANI): Following the win over Iran in their FIFA World Cup 2022 opener, England manager Gareth Southgate was not pleased with his side conceding two goals in the second half and said that they will need to play better against the USA.
England started their World Cup 2022 campaign in style decimating Iran 6-2 at the Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar on Monday.
England got off to a great start in the first half, leading by 3-0 before adding three more goals in the second half. But Southgate was not happy with the way his side let Iran score two goals later in the game. He warned his players that the sloppiness could end their World Cup campaign early.
"We are really pleased to start the tournament in this way and really pleased with our attacking play. We know that Iran is difficult to score goals against so it is a credit to our players for the movement, the quality of our passing and finishing," said Southgate as quoted by Sky Sports.
"At the end of the game, to concede two goals the way we did is not the level we need. We need to be better than we were today against the USA because they will be coming for us full throttle. We will have to reset.""I do not like games that drift and there were so many added minutes in both halves. I understand games drift, but that would not be enough for us to progress. We still have a lot to do to qualify," he concluded.
Bukayo Saka scored a brace for the English team while Jude Bellingham, Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish scored a goal each.
Iran suffered a huge blow when their goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand collided with his teammate Majid Hosseini. Beiranvand had to be stretchered out in the 19th minute.
England gave a dominant performance which combined skill with speed.
Jude Bellingham got England off the mark in the World Cup 2022 scoring a goal in the 35th minute. Eight minutes later, Bukayo Saka doubled the lead for Gareth Southgate's side to give them a 2-0 lead. Raheem Sterling made it 3-0 in the injury time of the first half. England went into half-time with a healthy lead of 3-0.
In the second half, Saka scored his second goal of the match to make it 4-0 as he found the net in the 62nd minute. Three minutes later Iran too managed to find the nets as Mehdi Taremi scored the team's first goal of the tournament and the scoreline read 4-1 in the English side's favour.
Marcus Rashford helped England restore their four-goal lead as he struck the fifth goal for his side to take a 5-1 lead. Jack Grealish too joined the party scoring in the 89th minute as England stretched their lead to 6-1.
Iran came close to scoring another goal as Sardar Azmoun raced through in stoppage time, but Jordan Pickford produced a fingertip save to turn his effort onto the bar. Iran got a late penalty after a VAR check for a foul on Morteza Pouraliganji which resulted in Taremi scoring his second goal of the match. The match ended 6-2 in England's favour.
The England team was a far more superior side on the day enjoying 78 per cent of the possession in comparison to Iran who managed only 22 per cent. England also had seven shots on target compared to Iran's only three shots on target. England had eight corners in comparison to Iran which had none. Iran committed 14 fouls while England had 9.
England created opportunities throughout the match and converted many of them into brilliant goals.
England will now face USA and Wales in their next encounters. (ANI)