England has come close to taking the lead in the Group B opener, after beating Iran 6-2 on Monday in the second game of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
A slow start kicked off the England versus Iran match at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on Monday, in the second game of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
An unexpected collision between Iran’s goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand and a defender in the 9th minute brought the game to a standstill for several minutes before Beiranvand made the decision to continue defending the goal.
Minutes later the goalkeeper, renowned for catching Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty in the World Cup 2018, was taken off the pitch in a stretcher with a suspected concussion. Fellow goalie Hossein Hosseini assumed position instead.
Notably, thousands of Iranian fans chanted Mahsa Amini in the 22nd minute to pay tribute to the young woman whose death in Iran sparked nationwide protests. Iranian flags with the chant ‘Women, Life, Freedom’ were displayed around the stadium.
Also known as Team Melli, the Iranians did not sing along to their country’s national anthem in solidarity with the ongoing protests back home.
However, the game quickly picked up pace when England’s Jude Bellingham snuck in a header sent in by a Luke Shaw cross just 35 minutes into the game.
Less than 10 minutes later, Bukayo Saka delivered a spectacular goal into the back of the net, before Raheem Sterling followed through in the 45+1 minute.
England kicked off the second half with a spectacular performance, with two more goals finding the back of the net. Saka secured his second goal of the game in the 62nd minute before Marcus Rashford also made his mark on the world stage.
However, Mehdi Taremi brought back hope for Iran with a goal in the 65th minute.
England struck yet another one in the 89th minute but the Iranians weren’t done just yet.
Taremi found the back of the net 13 minutes into extra time, sending Iranian fans roaring in the stands.
A total of 45,334 spectators attended the first match for Group B at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.