England stormed into the Round of 16 at the
2022 FIFA World Cup with a thumping 3-0 victory over neighbours Wales at the
Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in Qatar. The Three Lions hit their stride in the second half,
with Marcus Rashford bagging a majestic brace and Phil Foden getting on the
scoresheet to put Wales to the sword on Tuesday night.
Gareth Southgate made full use of his
26-man squad for the final group game against Wales. Marcus Rashford and Phil
Foden replaced Raheem Sterling and Bukayo Saka on the wings, while Kyle Walker
and Jordan Henderson made their maiden starts of the tournament. The changes
seemed to have had the desired effect as England dominated the first-half
proceedings and should have opened the scoring inside ten minutes through
The Manchester United man was put through
by Harry Kane but couldn’t execute his chipped effort over goalkeeper Danny
Ward, who snuffed out the danger to keep the scores level. England enjoyed the
lion’s share of the possession in the opposition half but couldn’t create many
other meaningful opportunities to test the goalkeeper.
Wales were forced to withdraw their
talisman Gareth Bale at half-time due to injury, and Gareth Southgate’s side
picked up their pace after the break, with Phil Foden winning a free kick in a
dangerous position on the edge of the box. Stepping up to take the set piece,
Rashford broke the deadlock with a thunderous strike into the top corner.
Having opened the floodgates, England
struck again just moments later from the restart. Wales turned the ball over in
their own half, and Harry Kane set up Phil Foden at the far post for a simple
tap-in to double the lead.
Jordan Pickford made one alert save to deny
Kieffer More in the second period, but the Three Lions soon put the game to bed
with Marcus Rashford bagging England’s 100th goal at the World Cup. The winger
cut inside from the right before squirming a shot through Danny Ward’s legs to
make it three. Rashford’s second strike took him to the top of the World Cup
goalscoring charts alongside Kylian Mbappe, Enner Valencia, and Cody Gakpo, and
sent England into the knockout stages as Group B winners.
Gareth Southgate’s side will face the
runners-up from Group A Senegal in the Round of 16 on Saturday, while Wales are
knocked out of the competition with just one point and zero goals from open
play in their three games.