Bukayo Saka, England Celebrated for Dominant Win vs. Iran in 2022 World Cup Opener

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVNovember 21, 2022

England's Bukayo Saka celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the World Cup group B soccer match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino

England opened its 2022 World Cup campaign with a dominant 6-2 win over Iran in the first match of Group B play on Monday.

Bukayo Saka scored a brace for England as part of a statement win that proved the Three Lions are a legitimate contender at this event.

Jude Bellingham especially impressed and opened the scoring with a header in the 35th minute:

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

ENGLAND TAKES THE LEAD<br><br>On the biggest stage Jude Bellingham scores his first goal for England 🔥🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 <a href="https://t.co/4TOWEHaMmQ">pic.twitter.com/4TOWEHaMmQ</a>

The 19-year-old wasn't certain to start in the opening match, but fans quickly noticed him as one of the best players on the pitch.

Anthony Gerrard @antgerrard86

For the next 10/12 years England and Whoever Bellingham in playing for build your side around him. <br><br>The closest player to Steven Gerrard I’ve ever seen.

Saddick Adams @SaddickAdams

Jude Bellingham. <br><br>Talent overdose

Cristian Nyari @Cnyari

Jude Bellingham is already England's best player.

Luis Garcia @luchogarcia14

Great build up for the first one for England, special player Jude Bellingham (19yrs).<br>Looks like he's been playing for 10 years with the national team. Fantastic header.<br>ENG 1 v 0 IRN

Shlomo Sprung @SprungOnSports

Jude Bellingham is already a superstar, world is about to find out <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FIFAWorldCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FIFAWorldCup</a>

Tommy Smyth @TommySmythESPN

So much was expected of Bellingham in this WCF he just showed us why a brilliant header to settle England down .England needed that after controlling the game they needed to get in front.

CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ @CBSSportsGolazo

England fans everywhere singing like <a href="https://twitter.com/MicahRichards?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MicahRichards</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/Carra23?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Carra23</a> 🎶<br><br>Hey <a href="https://twitter.com/BellinghamJude?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BellinghamJude</a> 👋<a href="https://t.co/xf5LM9cbDV">pic.twitter.com/xf5LM9cbDV</a>

Taylor Twellman @TaylorTwellman

Love watching <a href="https://twitter.com/BellinghamJude?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BellinghamJude</a> play. Pushes the issue thru the middle, always threatening with runs, and can physically get himself and the team out of tough spots. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ThreeLions?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ThreeLions</a>

Yaw Ampofo Jr @Yaw_Ampofo_

Jude Bellingham is a sensational talent.<br><br>He delivers in the UCL for Dortmund and does it again at the World Cup for England👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

England continued to pile it on in the first half, with attackers Saka and Raheem Sterling coming through with clinical finishes:

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

Look at this finish by Saka 😍 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FIFAWorldCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FIFAWorldCup</a> <a href="https://t.co/G7USalK6hX">pic.twitter.com/G7USalK6hX</a>

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

RAHEEM STERLING<a href="https://twitter.com/England?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@england</a> makes it THREE in the first half<br><br>Sponsored by <a href="https://twitter.com/newbalance?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@newbalance</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WeGotNow?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WeGotNow</a> <a href="https://t.co/2nPbFKUGIh">pic.twitter.com/2nPbFKUGIh</a>

It was a dream scenario for a team with a lot of pressure entering the tournament, but fans were celebrating early in this match.

Paul Treyvaud @PaulTreyvaud

Three absolute cracking goals from England. They’re looking very strong out there today. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ENGIRN?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ENGIRN</a>

Michael Lozano Jr. @michael_loz

Phew. England looks unstoppable. That Black Friday game may be a bloodbath. 😬<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FIFAWorldCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FIFAWorldCup</a>

Lokmanyu Chaturvedi @lokmanyu06

England are cooking! What a start to their World Cup campaign 🚀

Vayam Lahoti @VayamLahoti

The quality of those three first half goals too though, brilliant from England. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/QatarWorldCup2022?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#QatarWorldCup2022</a>

Paolo del Rosario @paodelrosario

England look really good. 👀 Yes they’re expected to win, but even with that in mind they look sharp.

Liam Canning @LiamPaulCanning

England are flourishing! Incredible half.

Bolarinwa Olajide @iambolar

England are now in full control. They’ve played well and combined well as a team. 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ENGIRN?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ENGIRN</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Qatar2022?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Qatar2022</a>

Saka added a second goal in the second half during a performance that didn't go unnoticed:

B/R Football @brfootball

Bukayo Saka does it again 💥<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/TelemundoSports?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TelemundoSports</a>)<a href="https://t.co/YwjAxJq0y3">pic.twitter.com/YwjAxJq0y3</a>

Connor Humm @TikiTakaConnor

Bukayo Saka vs. Iran: <br><br>70 minutes played<br>3 shots (100% accuracy)<br>0.21 XG<br>2 goals<br>48 touches<br>23 passes (82.1% accuracy)<br>1 key pass <br>2 fouls won<br><br>What a World Cup debut. 🌟 <a href="https://t.co/0rttys4PRM">pic.twitter.com/0rttys4PRM</a>

Squawka @Squawka

Bukayo Saka has now scored more World Cup goals (2) than Wayne Rooney (1) and Paul Scholes (1).<br><br>Spicy debut. 🌶<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FIFAWorldCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FIFAWorldCup</a> <a href="https://t.co/BV545ROVEo">pic.twitter.com/BV545ROVEo</a>

B/R Football @brfootball

Bukayo Saka deserves this moment 🤩 <a href="https://t.co/mJBoJMv9O5">pic.twitter.com/mJBoJMv9O5</a>


𝘚𝘵𝘢𝘳 𝘉𝘰𝘺. <br><br>A breakout performance from <a href="https://twitter.com/BukayoSaka87?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BukayoSaka87</a> 🌶️<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FIFAWorldCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FIFAWorldCup</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Qatar2022?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Qatar2022</a> <a href="https://t.co/77dbqitnNv">pic.twitter.com/77dbqitnNv</a>

Arsenal Buzz @ArsenalBuzzCom

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿| England fans celebrating Bukayo Saka’s goal today. The scenes! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FIFAWorldCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FIFAWorldCup</a> <a href="https://t.co/YSdDd7E3BT">pic.twitter.com/YSdDd7E3BT</a>

WelBeast @WelBeast

Bukayo Saka is special. He's very very special. Generational.

With Marcus Rashford also scoring off the bench, it was redemption for the two players who notably missed penalties at Euro 2020.

Eurosport @eurosport

498 days after Bukayo Saka was villainised for missing the crucial penalty for England in the Euros final, he scores in their opening World Cup game.<br><br>Talk about strength of character 👏 <a href="https://t.co/ghvSj8FNF4">pic.twitter.com/ghvSj8FNF4</a>

It was a very different mood for England this time around, with some talking about taking home the World Cup title.

Ash Rose @AshroseUK

So England are basically going to win the World Cup.

B/R Football @brfootball

45'—England 3-0 Iran<br><br>Don't say it<br>Don't say it<br>Don't say it<br>Don't say it<br>Don't say it<br>Don't say it<br>Don't say it<br><br>🗣️ IT'S COMING HOME <a href="https://t.co/yP0jgX1xuP">pic.twitter.com/yP0jgX1xuP</a>

King👑Lyndon Arthur @LyndonArthur

Can we start saying its coming home yet..

Nicolas Atkin @NicoSCMP

It’s most definitely coming home. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FIFAWorldCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FIFAWorldCup</a> <a href="https://t.co/B3Xj724B1b">https://t.co/B3Xj724B1b</a>

Alabi @the_Lawrenz

IT IS COMING HOME!! Go England! ❤️

Emily Liddell @em_liddell

More celebrations for England! People are singing "It's Coming Home", everyone in very spirits <a href="https://t.co/BCOaCJwGOo">pic.twitter.com/BCOaCJwGOo</a>

There is still a long way to go in this tournament for the Three Lions to win the trophy, but it certainly was a good start for the squad.