Kane looking for back-to-back World Cup golden boots
Harry Kane secured the golden boot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. He’s now looking to do the same again in Qatar in 2022.
Bukayo Saka scored twice as England made a flying start to their World Cup campaign by thrashing Iran 6-2 at the Khalifa International Stadium.
Saka – whose penalty miss proved decisive in the Euro 2020 final last year – netted a stunning volley to help Gareth Southgate’s side take a 3-0 lead into half-time, before he doubled up after the break.
With Iran crumbling after goalkeeper Alireza Beyranvand suffered a nasty head injury early on, Jude Bellingham set the tone by scoring his first international goal, while Raheem Sterling prodded home England’s third.
Mehdi Taremi denied England a clean sheet with a powerful finish, but substitutes Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish responded as the Three Lions sent out a message to their Group B rivals despite Taremi scoring a very late second from the penalty spot.
Harry Maguire was a nuisance in the opposition box and saw an early penalty appeal waved away before powering a header against the crossbar in the 32nd minute.
Three minutes later, Bellingham diverted Luke Shaw’s hanging cross into the top-right corner with a fine looping header.
With Iran struggling to contain the Three Lions, Maguire nodded a corner into the path of Saka to unleash a fierce volley into the top-right corner and double England’s lead.
Southgate’s rampant side then made it 3-0 in first-half stoppage time when Sterling cutely diverted home Harry Kane’s right-wing cross.
There was no sign of England slowing down after the break, as Saka clinched his brace by cutting inside to drill a low finish beyond Iran substitute Hossein Hosseini.
Taremi denied England a clean sheet by firing in off the crossbar, but substitutes Rashford and Grealish produced composed finishes as the Three Lions extended their lead to 6-1.
There was one last piece of action when Taremi converted from the spot at the end of stoppage time after a VAR check contentiously ruled he was fouled by John Stones.
Bellingham (35′), Saka (43′, 62′), Sterling (45’+1′), Taremi (65′, 90’+13′ [PEN]), Rashford (71′), Grealish (89′)