World Cup

World Cup Day 2 roundup: England thrash Iran; Wales rescue draw vs USA; Netherlands beat Senegal

Toby Cudworth
England were Monday's big winners
England were Monday's big winners / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages
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Day two of the World Cup is in the books and it was a huge one for fans of England, Iran, Senegal, Netherlands, Wales and the United States.

The 2022 edition of the most famous tournament in the world got underway on Sunday as Ecuador comfortably dispatched hosts Qatar 2-0, but all eyes are now focused on a fuller day of action and the introduction of two sides who have high hopes of going far.

Gareth Southgate's England kicked off the day's action against Iran, smashing them in Group B.

We also had a first glimpse at the Netherlands, managed once again by the legendary Louis van Gaal, and Sadio Mane-less Senegal - the Lions of Teranga definitely now without their star man after a late injury picked up playing for Bayern Munich.

In the final game, Wales left it late to scare the USA, with Gareth Bale and Kieffer Moore coming up trumps for the Dragons.

Here's what went down on day two.


England 6-2 Iran

England got their World Cup off to a thrilling start as they walloped Iran 6-2 at Khalifa International Stadium.

Goals from Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka and Raheem Sterling put England 3-0 up by half-time, before Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish finished off the scoring after the break. Porto striker Mehdi Taremi grabbed a brace for Iran, including an injury-time penalty conceded by John Stones from a set piece.


How did England do it?

The Three Lions looked bright and breezy early on although the game was disrupted by a serious head injury sustained by Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand. He was eventually replaced - after suffering what looked like concussion and a nasty broken nose - and Hossein Hosseini came on to make his World Cup debut.

He may have been wishing he'd stayed on the bench soon after, as England got into their stride. More crisp passing, this time down the left flank, presented Luke Shaw with the opportunity to whip the ball in. He did so perfectly and the late arriving Jude Bellingham scored his first goal for the Three Lions - a perfectly weighted header into the corner.

Jude Bellingham
Jude Bellingham has his first England goal / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

After Saka made it two, there was barely time to draw breath as England grabbed a third. Iran were caught on the counter, Bellingham found Harry Kane down the right flank and his cross into the middle was expertly steered home by Sterling.

A relatively quiet start to the second half was then brought to life by Saka's second of the day, a deflected effort after good work from Sterling, before Iran grabbed a goal back through Taremi - the Porto sharpshooter running off the back of a concussed Harry Maguire to fire past Jordan Pickford.

Substitutes Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish got in on the act for England before full-time, the former with some superb footwork, before Stones conceded a late penalty that Taremi converted with ease.



Senegal 0-2 Netherlands

Things weren't quite so lively in the second game of the day, but the Netherlands got themselves over the line thanks to a narrow 2-0 win over Senegal in Group A.

A delicious cross from Frenkie de Jong was glanced home by 23-year-old Cody Gakpo, who nipped ahead of Senegal and Chelsea stopper Edouard Mendy in the process. Mendy then made an absolute howler to hand the Dutch a second, palming Memphis Depay's tame shot into the path of Davy Klaassen.


How did the Netherlands do it?

Senegal, without talisman Sadio Mane, had been bright in the final third during the opening exchanges with the Netherlands - Ismaila Sarr terrorising Matthijs de Ligt in particular - but they failed to capitalise on their decent passages of play.

The Dutch were unsettled by Senegal's willingness to run at their defence, but they weren't hugely troubled at any stage. Debutant Andries Noppert did make a smart low save at his front post to deny Boulaye Dia, but he only got his hands on the ball a couple of other times.

Netherlands stuck at their task and found a way through
Netherlands stuck at their task and found a way through / ANP/GettyImages

It wasn't a vintage display from Louis van Gaal's current Netherlands army, that much is for sure, yet they edged in front with six minutes left. De Jong's wonderfully weighted cross was met by a perfectly timed header from Gakpo - one that left Mendy superman punching thin air.

The Chelsea keeper then dropped a real look away now moment, shovelling Memphis' weak left-footed drive into danger when he should have done so much better. Klaassen did the rest, with the Dutch mirroring Ecuador's win over Qatar on the opening day.



USA 1-1 Wales

After a pretty drab first half, Wales recovered to earn a well-earned draw against the USA.

Tim Weah broke the deadlock after being slipped in by Christian Pulisic as Gregg Berhalter's side took advantage of the Dragons' early struggles.

Rob Page threw on Kieffer Moore at half-time and it proved an inspired decision as the Bournemouth striker made life difficult for the Americans.

Gareth Bale was hurled to the floor by Walker Zimmerman with ten minutes remaining and Wales were handed a penalty, with their number 11 stepping up to fire into the top corner and rescue a point.

Gareth Bale, Kieffer Moore
Bale and Moore rescued Wales / Alex Livesey - Danehouse/GettyImages

How did Wales do it?

Wales will definitely be the happier of the two sides coming away from this.

It was men against boys in the first half and the USA really should have made more of their dominance, ultimately shooting themselves in the foot and allowing Bale to strike.

Page was criticised for not starting Moore and he simply has to play him from the off now if they want to get out of the group.



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