FIFA World Cup 2022, England annihilate Iran 6-2: Key stats
Bukayo Saka netted a brace as England hammered Iran 6-2 in a crucial Group B match at the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Monday. Jude Bellingham put England in the lead, followed by Saka and Raheem Sterling entering the scoresheet before halftime. England, however, blasted two more to pile up miseries. Iran's Mehdi Taremi scored twice, including a stoppage-time penalty but it wasn't enough.
Sensational Bellingham scripts these records
Bellingham netted his maiden goal in the World cup and only his second goal for England since making his debut in 2020. As per Opta, Bellingham (19 years and 145 days) has become the third youngest England player to start at a World Cup after Michael Owen in 1998 (18y 198d) and Luke Shaw in 2014 (18y 347d).
How did the match pan out?
Bellingham scored a header off Luke Shaw's cross to open England's account. Saka converted the second, while Sterling struck a superb volley from Harry Kane's cross. After halftime, Iran pulled one back only to concede three more in regulation time. Taremi slotted in a penalty after a John stones foul but had to make peace with a 6-2 rout.
Contrasting first half records for England, Iran
As per Opta, England completed 366 passes in the first half itself. It's the second most by a team in the first half of a World Cup fixture since 1966, after Spain vs Russia in 2018 (395). Meanwhile, Iran completed just 46, which is the fewest by any team in the first half of a game since 1966.
English youngsters shine at the big stage
With Bellingham (19y) and Bukayo Saka (21y), England have had two players aged 21 or under both score in a single World Cup game for the first time in their history.
Saka, Sterling ink these numbers
Saka scored twice, thereby racing to six goals for England. The Arsenal midfielder has netted seven goals across competitions this season, including four in the Premier League. Chelsea ace Sterling fetched his 20th goal for the Three Lions across 80 appearances and his maiden goal at the FIFA World Cup.
Rashford dazzles versus Iran
As per William Hill, Rashford scored his first-ever goal for England in a major tournament. As per Opta, Rashford scored just 49 seconds after coming on for England in the 71st minute. It's the third-quickest goal by a substitute in the history of the World Cup. Overall, Rashford has netted 13 goals across 47 appearances at the international level.
Key stats from the match
England bossed the ball game throughout, with 13 attempts and seven on target. The Three Lions had a staggering 78% possession in contrast to Iran (22%). The Brits had 10 shots inside the box while Iran managed six of those. England completed 796 passes at 90% accuracy, while Iran managed 215 passes at 66% accuracy.
Taremi fights a lone battle
Taremi was the lone scorer for Iran as he got their maiden goal in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. He now has 30 goals for Iran across competitions. At the club level, the 30-year-old striker holds 105 goals for FC Porto in 115 appearances.
England's most successful manager in major tournaments
As per Opta, Gareth Southgate has won more matches at major tournaments (World Cup/EUROs) than any other England manager (9 wins). He has surpassed Sir Alf Ramsey (8) in this regard. England have won their opening fixture at every major tourney under Southgate (2-1 vs Tunisia, 2018 WC; 1-0 vs Croatia, Euro 2020; 6-2 vs Iran, 2022 WC).
England unlock these feats
As per Opta, England clocked their biggest-ever win in their opening match at a major tournament (World Cup/EUROs). England scored six goals in a major tournament fixture for only the second time in their history, having done so against Panama at the 2018 WC (6-1).