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England score three goals in the first half vs Iran, their World Cup is well underway

Ryan Sidle

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England score three goals in the first half vs Iran, their World Cup is well underway

England ran rampant in the opening first half of their World Cup campaign, scoring three goals in just 10 minutes and putting Iran to bed before the break.

Gareth Southgate's side kicked off their tournament on Monday afternoon, as offices up and down the country saw their productivity drop to near zero.

There was questions ahead of kick off about his selection, as there always is, with the decision not to start Phil Foden the main bone of contention.

Controversy also surrounded the decision for Harry Kane not to wear the One Love armband, through fear of being booked after FIFA banned it.

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It didn't take long for controversy to reign on the pitch either, with Harry Maguire somehow denied a penalty, despite being brought down in the box by what looked like a rugby tackle.

The much maligned Manchester United defender also hit the crossbar from a corner and then his club teammate Luke Shaw was involved in the opener.

The left back crossed for Jude Bellingham, with the Borussia Dortmund midfielder heading home for his first goal in an England shirt, after 35 minutes of the game.

After a slow start, not helped by an injury to Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand, who went down with a head injury following a clash with his defender, Southgate's men started picking up the pace.

Harry Kane had the chance to close the replacement goalkeeper down, putting pressure on him, but the move came to nothing.

However, just minutes later, Maguire was once again a problem for Iran at a corner, being picked out by Kieran Trippier yet again.

The centre back headed down to the edge of the area, where Bukayo Saka was on hand to smash the ball into the back of the net with his left foot, via a deflection.

Ironically Iran players weren't happy with Maguire from that corner, despite manhandling him to the ground in the earlier penalty incident.

Whilst they complained to the referee that the 29-year-old had committed a foul from the corner, replays showed he just managed to beat two defenders in the air to win the initial header.

Carlos Queiroz's side would have been left even more frustrated when Raheem Sterling furthered England's lead at the start of injury time.

A quick kick from Jordan Pickford found Harry Kane, the striker gave the ball to Bellingham, who returned it to the captain on the edge of the area.

The Tottenham Hotspur forward drove into the box, beating a defender, and bent a perfect low cross for Raheem Sterling to knock the ball home.

Four years ago, Southgate's side had struggled in their opener against Tunisia, needing a last minute winner from Kane to earn themselves three points.

Certainly it doesn't seem like they'll be having any such troubles to open things against Iran this time around.

Life will surely get more difficult as they take on USMNT on Friday, before finishing the group against Wales a week on Tuesday.


Featured Image Credit: BBC Sport

Ryan Sidle
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