Saka and Bellingham shine in England’s triumph over Iran
England’s World Cup campaign got off to a roaring start on Monday in Doha, as Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham led the Three Lions to a 6-2 victory over an underwhelming Iranian squad.
With their powerful performances, England’s Saka and Bellingham established themselves as two of the sport’s rising stars.
The 19-year-old Bellingham scored his first goal for England’s senior national team in the first half, dashing any chances Iran had of frustrating England. Bellingham’s goal made him England’s youngest scorer at a World Cup since Michael Owen in 1998, and the first player born in 2000 or later to score at the tournament.
Saka and Raheem Sterling scored to put Gareth Southgate’s team up 2-0 at the Khalifa International Stadium before halftime.
After the break, Saka, now 21, added another goal, and Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish finished off the rout, despite two goals from Mehdi Taremi of Iran.
England will face much tougher competition as they attempt to win a major title for the first time since the 1966 World Cup.
Southgate’s team had been winless in their previous six games before travelling to Qatar, prompting harsh criticism of the Three Lions manager and his supposedly hostile methods.
The sight of Harry Maguire being replaced in the second half after being evaluated for a possible head injury was the only thing that worried Southgate.
On Friday, England will play the United States for the second time this tournament, and on November 29, they will finish their Group B schedule against Wales.