World Cup

World Cup day 6 roundup: England draw with USA; Qatar out; Wales suffer heartbreak

Toby Cudworth
England drew to USA
England drew to USA / Richard Sellers/GettyImages
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Day six of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar was a doozy.

Wales were up first against Iran as they hoped to build on their draw against the United States, before hosts Qatar took on Senegal and the Netherlands played Ecuador.

It's now left to England to round the day off against the USA, with Gareth Southgate's side looking to book their place in the round of 16.

Here's how it all went down.


Wales 0-2 Iran

Wales' hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the World Cup were dashed by a desperately disappointing 2-0 defeat to Iran.

Rob Page's side were laboured and lethargic throughout the contest, and were pegged back for large periods as Iran piled forward in search of goals.

Wayne Hennessey's late red card stretched the game beyond Wales' capabilities, and it was left to stoppage time goals from Roozbeh Cheshmi and Ramin Rezaeian to break the hearts of Gareth Bale and co.


Sardar Azmoun hits the post for Iran against Wales
Sardar Azmoun hits the post for Iran against Wales / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

Wales downed in sweltering Qatar heat

There were high hopes that Wales, who didn't play particularly well against the United States until the introduction of Kieffer Moore, could assert their authority over an Iran side walloped by England on matchday one.

The Dragons looked bright enough early on, fashioning a couple of chances, but Iran were equally as threatening as they looked to get Sardar Azmoun running in behind. Carlos Queiroz's side even had a goal chalked off for offside, as Alireza Gholizedah needlessly ran offside to collect Azmoun's square ball - he perhaps should have shot himself.

Moore had a good effort saved by Hossein Hosseini, but Iran finished the half on top as they looked to play through an ineffective Welsh midfield. Ethan Ampadu was often overrun in the holding role, and there was a distinct lack of quality from Aaron Ramsey.

Iran were the better team in the second half and struck the woodwork twice through Azmoun and Gholizedah, before further pressure on the counter attack saw Wayne Hennessey sent off for a wild challenge on Mehdi Taremi.

The pressure eventually told on Wales, as Joe Allen's poor clearance fell to the feet of Roozbeh Cheshmi and he bent home from 25 yards out. Ramin Rezaeian put the gloss on the scoreline for Iran, breaking away to net in the 12th minute of stoppage time.



Qatar 1-3 Senegal

Qatar are out of their home World Cup after falling to Senegal.

The Maroon were much-improved from their lifeless opening night defeat to Ecuador, but they were ultimately second-best to the Lions of Teranga.

The hosts were controversially denied a penalty when Ismaila Sarr clumsily brought down Akram Afif in the box, but neither the referee nor VAR were moved.

Senegal went down the other end and took the lead through Boulaye Dia following Boualem Khoukhi's failed clearance before Famara Diedhiou doubled that advantage with a deft header in the second half.

Qatar went over 150 minutes of tournament football without registering a shot on target before Mohammed Muntari pulled one back, but their hopes of a comeback were quickly extinguished by Bamba Dieng's late third for Senegal.


Boulaye Dia
Boulaye Dia celebrates putting Senegal in front / Claudio Villa/GettyImages

Qatar flatter to deceive again

While the opening night jitters were gone, Qatar still failed to resemble a competent footballing outfit until they found themselves two goals down again.

Edouard Mendy was forced into a couple of reflex saves but Senegal were never really in any danger of not taking all three points, boosting their qualification hopes.

The Netherlands later avoided defeat against Ecuador, resulting in Qatar's elimination from the tournament. It's the worst performance from a host nation ever, with their exit confirmed before the final round of group games.



Netherlands 1-1 Ecuador

The Netherlands and Ecuador both left their World Cup fate up in the air with a 1-1 draw at Khalifa International Stadium.

Cody Gakpo capitalised on a mistake at the back from Ecuador to fire in the opener and Pervis Estupinan thought he'd equalised before half time but an offside was alleged to have taken place.

The South Americans' pressure was rewarded shortly after the break as Enner Valencia tapped in after Andries Noppert failed to deal with Estupinan's powerful shot.

Neither side can be overtaken by host nation Qatar, who have been eliminated following two defeats from two games. The Dutch face Qatar next and will expect to win and confirm their spot in the last 16, while Ecuador will also qualify as long as they avoid defeat.

Enner Valencia suffers another injury scare

Enner Valencia reminded everyone of his talent during the World Cup's curtain-raiser, scoring both goals in the 2-0 victory.

His country's hopes will depend on him should they reach the knockout stages, but the initial signs are bad. The former West Ham striker needed a stretcher to leave the pitch with what looked to be a nasty knee injury.

Ecuador face a tough route to the final regardless of whether they finish first or second, but being without their talisman would be a real hammer blow.



England 0-0 United States

England were unable to book their place in the last 16 just yet after being held by the USA.

Gareth Southgate's side started quiite brightly with Harry Kane's shot from Bukayo Saka's cut-back being deflected wide off of Walker Zimmerman.

But that was really as good as it got for the Three Lions. Before the break, Weston McKennie skied a chance from 12 yards and Christian Pulisic rattled the crossbar.

In the second half, Gregg Berhalter's men dug in deep and made life difficult for the English and the spoils were shared.

What went wrong for England?

Southgate admitted post-match that England lacked 'zip', but both he and his players were staunchly defensive over the result, insisting keeping a clean sheet and a point were huge positives.

Therein lies a problem - England played without invention and without adventure. A point against Wales will send them through, but the matter should have been resolved tonight.

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