Home Sport Five takeaways from England’s emphatic win over Iran

Five takeaways from England’s emphatic win over Iran

Five takeaways from England’s emphatic win over Iran

Johannesburg — The Premier League is said to be the best league in the world, but the fact that England haven’t won the World Cup in 56 years is a huge travesty.


But guess what? They have a chance to make up for lost time in in Qatar, given their depth under coach Gareth Southgate.

In their opening match against Iran on Monday, they won 6-2. Here are five points that IOL Sport’s Mihlali Baleka took out from the Group B clash in Doha.

No English love

As any other country, Qatar has its own laws which includes a ban on same-sex relationships.

But some nations regarded that as a violation of human rights. So much so, that team like England wanted to protest that by wearing OneLove armbands.

These armbands were specifically designed as they had the multi-colour design in promotion of the LGBTQI+ community which has been silenced in Qatar.

But England had to ditch that ahead of their opener, adhering to Fifa’s warning that team captains who wore the armbands would be cautioned or banned.

No Iranian anthem

The national anthem is set to be one of the elements that expresses the identity of a nation, but the Iranian national football team pulled a shocker on Monday.

The side from the Middle East decided against reciting their national anthem before their clash against England, “standing impassively with grimed faces.”

According to reports, Iran pulled the stunt in solidarity of demonstrations that have rocked their country after the death of Mahsa Amini.

Amini died three days after being arrested for a breach of the Islamic Republic’s dress code for women, which includes a hijab headscarf.

Rare Maguire start

After being error-prone campaign last season, Harry Maguire has been largely demoted to the bench this season under new Manchester United coach Erik ten Hag.

But Southgate hasn’t shied away from backing Maguire, saying that the defender has given his all whenever he has represented his country.

Southgate started Maguire, who was later injured.

Maguire was influential up front as well. So much so that he should have scored early against Iran, but his glancing header came off the upright.

Roger flies ‘SA’ flag

South Africa failed to qualify for the global showpiece for the third time in a row, raising questions on the seriousness and quality of our football at large.

But former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Roger De Sa, who was part of the team that won Africa Cup of Nations in 1996, is one of SA’s few flag bearers in Qatar.

The 58-year-old is Iran’s assistant coach to Carlos Queiroz, who also coached Bafana and helped them qualify for the 2002 World Cup.

De Sa has been Queiroz’s assistant for years, with the duo having recently worked together with Egypt before they abruptly resigned due to poor form.

Saka and Rashford vindicated

England came close to winning Euro 2020, but they were beaten by Italy on penalties in the final.

Ugly scenes rocked England after that fateful night, with Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford subjected to online racist abuse due to their misses in the shootout.

But the Arsenal and Manchester United talismen were on the scoresheet on Monday, with the former scoring a brace while Rashford scored England’s fifth goal.

Kudos should also go to Jude Bellingham, 19. The Borussia Dortmund star opened England’s scoring, while also putting in a solid shift in midfield.


IOL Sport

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