England kick off World Cup campaign with big win

21/11/2022 43comments  |  Jump to last

Jordan Pickford was back between the sticks for England in a World Cup game as Gareth Southgate’s men put six past on Iran in their Group B opener today.

The Everton keeper wasn't able to keep a clean sheet as Mehdi Taremi thumped a great shot in off the underside of the bar following a move for rare quality from the Middle Easterners who scored a late consolation penalty after a foul by ex-Blue, John Stones.

England had roared into a 3-0 lead in a first half that was extended by almost a quarter of an hour by a head injury to goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand who was eventually forced off with a concussion.

Jude Bellingham scored the opener rising to head into the far side of the goal before Bakayo Saka fired into the top corner and Raheem Sterling netted in stoppage time.

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Saka doubled his tally with a low finish just past the hour mark before Iran pulled one back but England were too strong and Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish came off the bench to finish off the scoring for the Three Lions before Taremi converted from the stop in injury time to make it 6-2.

Conor Coady, the Blues' other representative in the squad was not involved.

The other two teams in the group, Wales and the United States, meet in the evening game at 9pm.

In Group A, meanwhile, Idrissa Gueye played the full 90 minutes for Senegal in a more advanced role than at Everton but the Lions of Teranga didn't have enough against the Netherlands who ran out 2-0 winners thanks to goals by Coady Gakpo and ex-Everton midfielder, Davy Klaassen.

Gueye had one shot parried by the Dutch keeper and was on set-piece duty for Senegal who couldn't find a breakthrough despite a slow start by the Netherlands.



Reader Comments (43)

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Bobby Mallon
1 Posted 21/11/2022 at 08:21:47
Come on England
Rob Halligan
3 Posted 21/11/2022 at 09:12:37
Harry Maguire to start, according to SSN. I suppose play him in the lesser games then boot him out for the knockout games.
Dean Williams
4 Posted 21/11/2022 at 09:55:15
I predict Pickford will have a good World Cup, then be gone in the Summer.

Cash in heavy on him. The first £100 million keeper.

Gary Johnson
5 Posted 21/11/2022 at 10:15:15

I think it is nailed on he'll leave in summer with 12 months left on his deal. However, unless two of Chelsea, Spurs and Man Utd compete with each other for him, then I recon £60M will be more like the figure.

If we were offered £75M in January, we should take the risk. Begovic could have a decent 6 months and, if that money bought in 2-3 goal scoring front men, it could be a godsend.

Regardless of all that – Come on, Jordan lad, do the nation proud.

Martin Reppion
6 Posted 21/11/2022 at 10:33:13
I am normally a realist when it comes to players coming and going.
I understood the Richarlison sale. I couldn't understand turning down stupid money for Gordon.
But we have, despite the media attempt to undermine him at every opportunity, the best goalkeeper in the league.
He kept us in the Premier League last season with a string of saves just as valuable as any goal.
I would be as disbelieving of his leaving as I was back in my youth when we offloaded Alan Ball.
This club has to turn the corner. We won't do it be selling the last line of defence.
Danny O’Neill
7 Posted 21/11/2022 at 11:16:28
My indifference and disinterest in England has been well publicised.

But I wish Jordan well and Conor Coady as well if he gets in ahead of the overrated Harry Maguire.

Big moment and honour for both players, so best wishes to both.

Paul Hewitt
8 Posted 21/11/2022 at 11:38:46
Qatar has a terrible humans right record. Over 6 thousand construction workers lost there lives building the stadiums. Should never have got the WC. Won't be watching a minute of any match.
Rob Halligan
9 Posted 21/11/2022 at 12:26:05
Not according to FIFA and the Qatar authorities, they haven’t, Paul. According to FIFA and Qatar there has only been THREE deaths by construction workers. The 6500 figure quoted is ALL deaths of foreign immigrants who have been in Qatar since they were awarded the World Cup, and construction of the stadiums started. Of course, we all know this is bullshit, with FIFA and Qatar backing each other up, no doubt with a few billion big ones going the way of FIFA.
Robert Thomason
10 Posted 21/11/2022 at 12:35:54
Apparently Enner Valencia was once on loan to us for 12 months. I don’t remember him ever playing.
Paul Hewitt
11 Posted 21/11/2022 at 12:39:12
Robert @10. I do, he did okay as well.
Dave Abrahams
12 Posted 21/11/2022 at 12:54:32
Robert (10),

He was signed by Koeman on a season long loan with the option to sign him for £14M, but then Koeman hardly used him and when he did it was mostly off the bench, I thought he did alright, but Koeman didn't take up the offer to sign him permanently so that was the end of it.

Christy Ring
13 Posted 21/11/2022 at 13:00:32
Shame on the FA and the European nations for going back on there word and for the Captain not to wear the armband. They bottled it, even Shearer said he would have worn it. It would have put huge pressure on FIFA, if they had to wear it, no bottle.
Will Mabon
14 Posted 21/11/2022 at 13:00:43
I remember him playing, but he apparently made 21 appearances total which is many more than I remember. Scored 3 goals.
Larry O'Hara
15 Posted 21/11/2022 at 13:03:41
Christy (13),

I agree — cowardly bottlers. Obviously taking their cue from England's cowardly manager.

Danny O’Neill
16 Posted 21/11/2022 at 13:13:13
Ouch. That didn't look good. Got a good hand to it though.
Tony Abrahams
17 Posted 21/11/2022 at 13:16:57
I think it would be more down to the people who wear blazers & suits, the decision not to wear the rainbow armband? But just like the Qataris, moved the goalposts with regards to alcohol, then it wouldn't surprise me to see the rainbow laces at some stage of the tournament?
Christy Ring
18 Posted 21/11/2022 at 14:11:30
Southgate had to change his system and play one defensive midfielder in Rice and Bellingham an attacking midfielder instead of Phillips who's only back from injury.

A more offensive line-up and it makes England a way better team.

Tony Abrahams
19 Posted 21/11/2022 at 14:31:35
I never understood Kane coming out for the second half. I know he’s chasing records and forwards, live for scoring goals, but the game is won and Harry Kane is probably the only area of the pitch where England don’t have adequate cover?

I think Bellingham has to play, Christy, but I think he will be the one who has to taper his game if England go far in the competition, because Southgate is a very cautious manager.

I think a lot of international football is very cautious imo, especially once the group stages finish and it becomes a knock-out tournament?

It would be nice if this changed, but I’m not going to hold my breath, although I do think Southgate deserves a lot of credit for having England playing as a proper team, which is something the alleged golden generation, never it to grips with.

Tom Bowers
20 Posted 21/11/2022 at 14:55:09
Don't be fooled by this result. Iran are crap as are Qatar.

Wales and USA will be much tougher but England should go through then the test begins for real.

Martin Reppion
21 Posted 21/11/2022 at 16:46:15
No change in the VAR.

In the Premier League, it is used to ensure the so-called big 6 get the rub of the green. In this tournament, it is there to give a filip to the Middle Eastern countries.

Maguire gets rugby tackled – no review. Stones puts a slight hold on an Iranian that nobody saw in real time, and they get given a penalty, after the game had finished.

Whoever was the VAR should be sent home now. Or better still, made to stay in that shit hole for the whole tournament but given nothing else to do.

Gerry Quinn
22 Posted 21/11/2022 at 18:00:02
They should have not advertised their players wearing the armbands - should have said sod-all and walked out onto the pitch - ALL of the teams wanting to wear them...then see what frickin' action assholes FIFA would take!
Gerry Quinn
23 Posted 21/11/2022 at 18:01:53
Why not keep quiet now and just wear the LGBT striped sock tie-ups? Walk out onto the pitch with them hidden - take the knee - then pull out the ties...
Mark Ryan
24 Posted 21/11/2022 at 18:16:02
Im not one for getting involved in discussions about sexuality etc but I believe that Kane should have worn the One Love armband and if he indeed got booked before kick off he should have had the backing of the FA to walk off and then said to all the other countries "you do the same"

Having then seen England and Holland walk off and not played their opening World Cup games, the tournament would have imploded. Perhaps then and only then would Infantino and the World realise that enough is enough. I think the armband is the tip of the "inclusivity iceberg"

I really feel for the Gay community and I've never been remotely involved in any discussions or conversations around it but someone tell me why we are even bothering to play in a cup competition in this day and age that is clearly supportive of Sport for heterosexuality ONLY

I've probably said this all wrong but is it only me that thinks bollocks to Qatar, come home.

Gerry Quinn
25 Posted 21/11/2022 at 18:40:13
I am not one to get so worked up about this kind of thing, but this is testing even my patience - Spot on Mark - it would be a brilliant statement if those countries walked off and out of the tournament...imagine the backing they would get from the rest of the world...
Mark Ryan
26 Posted 21/11/2022 at 18:47:11
Roy Keane before the Wales v USA" wear it and take your yellow card and then in the next game don't wear it, you've done your bit and made your protest"
Well said Roy, that'll teach em. It's that sort of pathetic mentality that means they'll never be inclusive. If Qatar don't believe in One Love, fuck em, come home. Infantino ? was he the HOOD in Captain Scarlet ?
Dale Self
27 Posted 21/11/2022 at 19:05:41
Or maybe a team should do a Romania a la Hagi and not wear the armbands but everyone dyes their hair in a rainbow.
Stuart Bellamy
28 Posted 21/11/2022 at 19:13:00
Mark and Gerry,

Thanks for your comments. As a gay football fan it means a lot to read those. With an extremely heavy heart I am boycotting the World Cup.

I can't support a tournament taking place in a country where being me will end up in, at best, a prison sentence, at worst a death sentence.

Paul Washington
29 Posted 21/11/2022 at 19:36:41
I think the major football nations of Europe and South America should have threatened to boycott and have their own World Cup.

How can FIFA have a competition in a country that discriminates so harshly?

Paul Birmingham
30 Posted 21/11/2022 at 19:42:04
See the Red Struggle for a Genuine story Echo, talking up Pickford will be made a scapegoat for conceding x2 goals.

The Echo and the rest of the media will do their best to undermine Everton, and Everton players, regardless of where and in what competition there playing in.

As some of said, let's hope it's not history repeating itself, in view of his contract expiry in terms of Pickford being sold, but if so, £120M, and no less.

Mark Ryan
31 Posted 21/11/2022 at 19:48:10
Stuart @ 27,

I'm furious and deeply dismayed that we have rolled over and played. I cannot imagine how disturbing this must be for you. I was hoping that Bale would walk out wearing the armband but no, Wales have caved as well.

They have a huge LGBGTQ+ following and it's a very sad day for them and for equality in the World. It beggars belief really. I'm hoping perhaps the Germans will make a stand. Here's hoping.

Kieran Kinsella
32 Posted 21/11/2022 at 19:51:19

The teams already put out a joint statement saying they're not going to wear the arm bands.

Stuart Bellamy
33 Posted 21/11/2022 at 19:58:14
Thanks Mark, apparently the Danes are going to, I really hope other countries follow suit. Kane and Bale should have worn the armbands and taken the hit. Until players of their profile, supported by their FAs, take a stance against the hideous, morally and financially corrupt entity that is FIFA, nothing will change.

No wonder there are no out Premier League footballers. It is all deeply disturbing but my hope is that everything going on in Qatar will raise the profile of the issues that need addressing enough to start to effect real change, here's hoping.

Mark Ryan
34 Posted 21/11/2022 at 20:05:06
Imagine the moment when Gareth Bale steps onto the pitch for the second half and gets an automatic red card. I'm told he's on a yellow. If true he would qualify another yellow. To be sent off for supporting equality, how fucking mad would that be!!

Gareth would be a legend. Not sure that's why he was put on the planet or how that would play out for him but I'd support the lad. I'd like to think that most normal sensible people would too.

Kieran Kinsella
35 Posted 21/11/2022 at 20:07:56
Apparently Belgium have been ordered to remove the word LOVE from the collar of their away shirt.

Maybe replace it with something more fitting for Qatar? Hate? Al Qaeda financing? Modern slavery?

Anthony Dove
36 Posted 21/11/2022 at 20:13:49
With the defence England have got they will need to score two or three every game to get very far.

The beginning of the World Cup got me thinking about Sigurdsson. Arrested in July 2021, career ruined and airbrushed out by Everton.

Here we are though, 16 months later and still no charges have been made. He would've been better off in Iran.

Ray Roche
37 Posted 21/11/2022 at 20:21:35
Anthony, Mason Greenwood has been charged and given a date for his trial and he was arrested after Siggy was first arrested. Why is it taking so long?
Kieran Kinsella
38 Posted 21/11/2022 at 20:31:10
Delph threw him under the bus as the only other suspect (male, 31, Manchester) when he publicly said it wasn’t him. He should have just said “I can’t confirm or deny I am the suspect.”
Anthony Dove
39 Posted 21/11/2022 at 20:35:01
Ray @39,

After this long, it could well be he will never be charged. In that event, I wonder what the Club will say. Greenwood was arrested on 22 January, 6 months after Sigurdsson.

Terry Farrell
40 Posted 21/11/2022 at 20:38:51
Ray the rumour is that he was being blackmailed by a honeytrap with the girl involved under legal age.
Anthony Dove
41 Posted 21/11/2022 at 20:53:53
I seem to remember that sort of thing many years ago involving Alan Whittle, David Johnson, and another player whose name I forget. Hasten to add that no charges were ever made.
Ray Roche
43 Posted 21/11/2022 at 21:08:55
Terry @39,

I heard the same, and that it involves attempted blackmail from her family to get money from Sigurdsson.

Anthony, I remember the strong rumours regarding the schoolgirls and Johnson, Whittle etc.

Derek Thomas
44 Posted 21/11/2022 at 21:19:18
Anthony @ 40; I thought it was only me that remembered that. The other guy was a fullback. Even thought the participants from Holly Lodge were all well over 16, back in those days it was enough for Harry and/or the powers that be to move them all on smartish.

Different days as we see by the case of The Two Toneys – one Ivan, the other being the unlucky and ill-advised Tony (MotM, ffs) Kay late of this parish. 1 bet vs 200+.

Jim Bennings
45 Posted 22/11/2022 at 07:04:25
The crazy thing is, Sigurdsson would still walk into our midfield right now after 18 months away and still look the most creative likely goal scorer.

That's how bad things have been since his suspension.

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