England demolish Iran as Bukayo Saka bags brace in six-goal World Cup opener


Within a minute of coming on, he provided the perfect overlap for Kane to find and coolly slotted the ball inside the far post.

Jack Grealish, too, for all his lack of minutes in a Manchester City shirt this season, could not have enjoyed tapping in the sixth more after good work by Callum Wilson, who in many people’s minds had taken Ivan Toney’s place on the plane.

He honoured a promise to a young cerebral palsy sufferer with his celebration.

For all the good, though, it would not be England if absolutely everything went their way.

Even before Maguire had to be replaced with a worrying head injury of his own, they had allowed Iran to score, a muddle over the offside trap allowing Taremi Mehdi to fire in a popular consolation.

Then in extra time, the faintest of shirt-pulls succeed to pique the interest of VAR when full-out assault had failed earlier and Mehdi was invited to fire home the final kick of the game from the spot.

Denied their One Love protest, England had nevertheless run up a tennis score.

And nobody can argue with a 6-2 first set win.


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