England's 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign could not have gotten off to a better start!
The Three Lions kicked things off in Monday's early kick-off, taking on Iran in their opening game. After a cagey start and a long pause due to an unfortunate head injury to Iranian goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand, the European giants kicked off the goal fest just after the 30th-minute mark.
Highly-rated youngster Jude Bellingham broke the deadlock for his nation, scoring his very-first England goal in his FIFA World Cup debut by heading a lovely Luke Shaw cross past the opposition keeper. And just like that, the Dortmund ace, at the age of 19 years and 145 days, became the second-youngest England player to score at the FIFA World Cup, with only Michael Owen (18 years, 190 days) sitting ahead of the former Birmingham City kid.
100% of passes completed— Football Daily (@footballdaily) November 21, 2022
100% of passes completed in the final third
Second youngest English scorer at the World Cup
First player born after 2000 to score a goal at a World Cup
Unforgettable first half for Jude Bellingham pic.twitter.com/MKGyE4phyx
And guess who is now the third-youngest Three Lions ace in history to find the back of the net at FIFA's prestigious competition? That honor belongs to Bukayo Saka, the Arsenal sensation who bagged a brilliant brace to win the Man of the Match award.
England's youngest goalscorers at a World Cup:— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) November 21, 2022
England have been dominant and are good value for their lead!
The first of his two-goal haul came in the first half, with the Hale End academy graduate blasting the ball into the top of the net. His second came just after the hour mark, with the 21-year-old dribbling past a few players before drilling the ball into the bottom left corner.
This was also Saka's debut, with the winger becoming the first player to score two goals in his first FIFA World Cup game since German icon Franz Beckenbauer. Bukayo later came off for Marcus Rashford, with the Manchester United ace also reaching a milestone of his own.
The Old Trafford star needed no time to make his mark, scoring only 49 seconds after coming off the bench with what were his first few touches of the ball. In fact, only two other players in the history of this competition have scored quicker goals after coming on as a substitute.
49 - Marcus Rashford scored just 49 seconds after coming on for England, the third-quickest goal by a substitute in World Cup history. Impact. pic.twitter.com/NIjqb6nHXW— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 21, 2022
And finally, we have Gareth Southgate. The maligned Three Lions boss made history with this result as he took his record with England in major tournaments to nine wins, a feat no other manager has ever achieved, surpassing the country's 1966 FIFA World Cup-winning tactician Sir Alf Ramsey.
9 - Gareth Southgate has won more matches at major tournaments (World Cup/EUROs) than any other England manager (9 wins), surpassing Sir Alf Ramsey's total of eight wins. Stage. pic.twitter.com/lN1GL1e8ta— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 21, 2022
With that 6-2 victory over Iran, the Euro 2022 runners-up have set themselves up perfectly to win the group. Next up for Harry Kane and Co. is a showdown with the U.S. men's national team before their exciting clash with Wales in their final group-stage fixture.