Saka, Rashford help England rout Iran 6-2 at World Cup

Nov 20, 2022, 5:33 PM | Updated: Nov 21, 2022, 11:07 am
England's Bukayo Saka celebrates after scoring his side's fourth goal against Iran during the World...

England's Bukayo Saka celebrates after scoring his side's fourth goal against Iran during the World Cup group B soccer match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium, in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

(AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

              England's Jack Grealish, center, celebrates with teammate Phil Foden, right, after scoring his side's sixth goal during the World Cup group B soccer match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
            
              England's Jack Grealish, right, celebrates with England's Phil Foden after scoring his side's sixth goal during the World Cup group B soccer match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
            
              England's Marcus Rashford, left, is congratulated by his teammate Harry Kane after scoring his side's fifth goal against Iran during the World Cup group B soccer match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium, in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              England soccer fans celebrate as they watch their team on a large screen during the World Cup Group B soccer match between England and Iran at a fan zone in London, Monday Nov. 21, 2022.  (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
            
              England's Bukayo Saka ,left,,celebrates with a teammate after scoring his side's fourth goal against Iran during the World Cup group B soccer match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium, in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              England's Raheem Sterling, centre, scores his side's third goal past Iran's Abolfazl Jalali during the World Cup group B soccer match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
            
              England's Raheem Sterling scores his side's third goal past Iran's Abolfazl Jalali during the World Cup group B soccer match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
            
              England's Bukayo Saka , right, celebrates with a teammate after scoring his side's fourth goal against Iran during the World Cup group B soccer match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium, in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              England's Marcus Rashford, right, scores his side's firth goal during the World Cup group B soccer match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
            
              England's Harry Kane acknowledges the applause from the crowd during the World Cup group B soccer match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
            
              England's Bukayo Saka, centre, celebrates after scoring his side's fourth goal during the World Cup group B soccer match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
            
              England's Marcus Rashford celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's fifth goal during the World Cup group B soccer match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
            
              England's Marcus Rashford celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's fifth goal during the World Cup group B soccer match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
            
              England's Marcus Rashford, right, scores his side's fifth goal during the World Cup group B soccer match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
            
              England's Marcus Rashford celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's fifth goal during the World Cup group B soccer match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
            
              England's Bukayo Saka , right, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's fourth goal against Iran during the World Cup group B soccer match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium, in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              England's Bukayo Saka celebrates after scoring his side's fourth goal against Iran during the World Cup group B soccer match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium, in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — When Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford last walked off the field at a major international soccer tournament, they were bombarded with racist abuse.

Three goals for England in the team’s opening match at this year’s World Cup was their immediate riposte.

Saka scored two before giving way to Rashford, who added another in the second half of England’s 6-2 rout of Iran on Monday.

The jubilant scene at the Khalifa International Stadium was in contrast to the tears shed following England’s penalty shootout loss to Italy in last year’s European Championship final. Saka and Rashford both failed to convert from the spot and were targeted on social media.

“It is a moment that has been with me and will be with me forever,” said Saka, who was only 19 during Euro 2020. “But I am so blessed and so grateful to have the coaching staff, not only here with the team at England, but also at Arsenal.

“My friends and my family put their arm around me along with my teammates and the nation supported me to help me get back to a good place. I feel that love from everyone around me.”

The win also provides encouragement for coach Gareth Southgate, who has faced the most troubled period of his England tenure over the last year. In a difficult buildup to the tournament in Qatar, he was booed after a 4-0 loss to Hungary in June and was humiliated by his own fans when they chanted, “You don’t know what you’re doing.”

Hundreds of fans missed the start of Monday’s match because of an issue with digital tickets. When they eventually made their way to their seats, they witnessed an utterly dominant display from England.

Jude Bellingham’s first international goal opened the scoring in the 35th minute.

Saka then got his first of the match in the 43rd and Raheem Sterling added another in first-half stoppage time. Saka scored his second shortly after the hour, but Mehdi Taremi pulled one back for Iran in the 65th minute.

Rashford struck six minutes later to extend England’s lead to 5-1, and Jack Grealish also stepped off the bench to score a sixth in the 90th. Taremi added another for Iran from the penalty spot deep in stoppage time after John Stones was penalized for holding Morteza Pouraliganji’s shirt in the box.

The game was delayed for several minutes in the first half when Iran goalkeeper Ali Beiranvand clashed heads with a teammate. He was eventually taken off the field on a stretcher with the score still 0-0.

His replacement, Hossein Hosseini, was left with the unenviable task of facing England’s potent attack.

The match had a total of 29 minutes of stoppage time, 15 minutes in the first half and 14 in the second.

After the match, Iran coach Carlos Queiroz pleaded with fans to support the team following apparent boos during the national anthem amid protests in the nation for women’s rights.

“All the Iranians in the stadium are welcome, and feel free to criticize,” he said. “Those who come to disturb the team with issues that are not only about football opinions are not welcome. They are just simple football boys. They have one dream, to play football. It is not their fault that the World Cup happens at the moment. The moral is: Let the kids play the game. They want to represent the country, represent the people.”

BRILLIANT BELLINGHAM

Bellingham had not even made his senior debut by the time of the last World Cup in 2018. Now the Borussia Dortmund midfielder is one of the most coveted players in the Europe and is expected to spark a major transfer battle at the end of the season. Monday’s performance is likely to see his reputation grow even more.

KANE’S OK

Southgate said Harry Kane was not injured despite concerns when he went down under a challenge in the second half and was later substituted.

“I think Harry is fine,” the coach said. “It looked a bad tackle, but he carried on and we took him off because we thought it was a moment when we could do that.”

UP NEXT

England faces the United States on Friday and Iran takes on Wales.

___

AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

___

James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

No. 14 Maryland women beat Towson at Fort Myers Tip-Off

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Diamond Miller scored 20 points, Faith Masonius and Shyanne Sellers each added 14 and No. 14 Maryland beat Towson 81-70 on Saturday at the Fort Myers Tip-Off. Miller gave Maryland its first double-digit lead on the first basket of the fourth quarter to make it 59-49. Towson got as close […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Navy takes down Mount St. Mary’s 75-59

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Tyler Nelson scored 18 points as Navy beat Mount St. Mary’s 75-59 on Saturday. Nelson shot 7 for 8, including 4 for 4 from beyond the arc for the Midshipmen (5-1). Daniel Deaver scored 14 points while finishing 7 of 11 from the floor, and added six rebounds, six assists, and […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Loyola (MD) defeats UL Monroe 65-64

NICEVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Kenneth Jones scored with seven seconds left and David Brown III blocked a last-second shot and Loyola (MD) defeated UL Monroe 65-64 on Saturday. Chris Kuzemka’s 12 points on 4 of 8 shooting (4 for 7 from distance) led the Greyhounds (3-4). Jones was 5 of 12 shooting (1 for 4 […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Roberts has 17, Manhattan tops Army 72-71 in London

LONDON (AP) — Josh Roberts had 17 points in Manhattan’s 72-71 win over Army on Saturday. Coleton Benson made three free throws with 16 seconds left to pull Army within one. The Jaspers then missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw with 11 seconds to play but Jalen Rucker couldn’t connect on a […]
1 day ago
France's Kylian Mbappe celebrates after scoring his sides second goal during the World Cup group D ...
Associated Press

Mbappe scores 2, France reaches knockout stage of World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Kylian Mbappe scored two goals and put defending champion France into the knockout stage of the World Cup with a 2-1 win over Denmark on Saturday. Mbappe gave his team the lead in the 61st minute and then scored the winner in the 86th with his right thigh as Les Bleus […]
1 day ago
Spain's Eric Garcia, left, and Hugo Guillamon work out during an official training session at Qatar...
Associated Press

World Cup Viewer’s Guide: Germany seeks World Cup rebound

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — A surprise opening-match loss has Germany headed into its second game seeking an easy victory to avoid a second consecutive early World Cup exit. Too bad the Germans play Spain in what should be anything but a leisurely Sunday stroll. Spain routed Costa Rica 7-0 in its opening match for the […]
1 day ago
Saka, Rashford help England rout Iran 6-2 at World Cup