World Cup 2022 in review: Day 2 - The Three Lions roar, Iran stay silent, the Dutch leave it late & Wales draw on their World Cup return

A daily report from the 2022 World Cup, reviewing the day's matches, saves, goals, gaffs and moments of magic from Qatar

By James Descombes Published: 22 November 2022 - 3.54pm
jack grealish celebrating for england in their 6-2 World Cup win over Iran

After easing into the World Cup on Sunday evening with Qatar vs Ecuador, Monday felt like the real start to the tournament with World Cup heavyweights England and Holland kicking off their campaigns, alongside Wales, Senegal and the USA.

Before the day's matches all the talk was around the OneLove armbands, which players were planning to wear to promote inclusivity. 

But news broke that players would pick up bookings for wearing the armbands, a decision which led to the armbands being dropped. 

Once football took centre-stage there was plenty to talk about, with British teams in action, goals galore and more VAR shenanigans. 

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Opening day results

England 6-2 Iran 

Senegal 0-2 Netherlands

USA 1-1 Wales

“Wales gave Hollywood Richard Burton... gave Vegas Tom Jones... and gave LA Gareth Bale. What can they give the USA tonight?”
- ITV Commentator, Clive Tyldesley

Match summaries

England vs Iran

England started the match well and could've easily been rewarded with a penalty after just three minutes when Harry Maguire was wrestled to the floor from an England corner.

The ref waved England's protests away and VAR didn't intervene.

Then moments later the much-maligned centre-back went close again, poking wide from a Harry Kane cross, which also led to Iran's goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand suffering a nasty head injury.

After bashing into teammate Majid Hosseini, the keeper should've really come off but inexplicably played on for a few more minutes before asking to be subbed. 

His replacement, Hossein Hosseini, could only watch as Maguire went close once against - heading the ball against the bar from another England corner. 

But the bar couldn't save Iran a few minutes later when Jude Bellingham headed home a Luke Shaw cross for England's opener. 

It was two in the 43rd-minute with Bukayo Saka doubling the lead, striking into the top corner after Maguire, again, caused havoc from a corner. 

And with 14 minutes of added time to play due to the injury of Iran's goalkeeper, England still had time for more in the first-half.

Harry Kane provided Raheem Sterling with a great cross to volley home at the near post to make it 3-0 to the Three Lions. 

Things continued to be one-sided in the second half and on the hour-mark Saka scored his second of the match after a mazy dribble in the box. 

But Iran did give England a wake-up call a few minutes later when Mehdi Taremi found space in England's box and hit a sharp shot in off the bar to make it 4-1. 

And it worked. England woke up and responded with three substitutions, one of which was Marcus Rashford.

The United striker got straight on with business, cooly slotting home inside the box to re-establish England's four-goal lead.

Fellow substitute Jack Grealish made it 6-1, finishing off a Callum Wilson cut-back after the Newcastle striker was put through from a sumptuous Jude Bellingham pass. 

And that should've been that. 

But Jordan Pickford needed to make a really good save from Sardar Azmoun, pushing his effort onto the bar. 

And VAR made a mockery of the beautiful game once again, awarding Iran a penalty for a soft John Stones shirt-pull -  despite offering nothing for Harry Maguire's much stronger shout in the first half. 

Taremi tucked it home to join Saka and Ecuador's Enner Valencia at the top of the goalscorers chart. 

Bukayo Saka
Bukayo Saka scored twice as England recorded a 6-2 win over Iran in their opening game

Senegal vs Netherlands 

The first half of this Group A game was played at a frenetic pace, with both sides keen to play on the front foot.

Senegal were mostly restricted to long-range efforts, one of which Virgil van Dijk blocked with his head as it flew towards the top corner.

The Dutch managed to pose a threat closer to goal, getting in behind the Teranga Lions' defence on a few occasions. 

Cody Gakpo proved to be a thorn in Senegal's side, making good runs off the ball. His cut-back just needed a finishing touch to give Holland the lead, but Steven Bergwijn couldn't get his toe to the ball. 

Gakpo continued to probe and put in another dangerous cross, but this time Daley Blind headed wide.

Then the Netherlands hit Senegal on the counter-attack, with Bergwijn flicking the ball to Gakpo, who found Frenkie de Jong one-on-one with the keeper. But the Barca forward took too long to pull the trigger and the chance was gone. 

The second half started slowly, prompting Dutch boss Louis van Gaal to swap Vincent Janssen for Memphis Depay. 

But it was Senegal who started to look more dangerous, with Boulaye Dia shooting low and forcing keeper Andries Noppert to save at his near post.

The slow tempo remained for most of the second half. Then with the game fizzing out Cody Gakpo went from provider to scorer, heading home from a Frenkie de Jong ball into the box. 

Senegal pushed for an equaliser and Pape Gueye saw his shot saved by Noppert. Then Holland hit Senegal on the break right at the end and Davy Klaassen followed up on Depay's parried shot to round the match off 2-0.

Cody Gakpo
Cody Gakpo stood out for the Netherlands and scored their first goal late on

USA vs Wales

USA took the game to Wales from kick-off, with Timothy Weah flashing a cross into the box which Joe Rodon inadvertently headed straight at his keeper, Wayne Hennessey.

That was quickly followed by a Josh Sargent header that crashed against the post from six yards out. 

Then in the 35th-minute Christian Pulisic ran at the Welsh desfence and slipped a ball through to Tim Weah, son of the great George Weah, to slot home with the outside of his boot and give the US the lead. 

Wales manager Rob Page took off Dan James and brought on Kieffer Moore for the second half and Wales started to get a foothold in the game. 

Spurs defender Ben Davies forced a save from Arsenal keeper Matt Turner and from the resulting corner Moore headed agonisingly over the bar.

The match became stretched in the final 20 minutes with both sides creating openings.

But with ten minutes left, substitute Brennan Johnson took a quick throw-in and the ball found its way to Gareth Bale in the box. Walker Zimmerman dived in on the Welsh talisman and a penalty was awarded.

Bale, who'd had a relatively quiet match up to that point, smashed the ball home from 12 yards and the Welsh fans went wild. 

After that Wales looked the most likely to claim all three points, but couldn't find a winner. 

Timothy Weah
George Weah never played at a World Cup. Now his son, Timothy, has scored at one.

Goal of the day

Marcus Rashford

England scored six good goals against Iran, but Marcus Rashford's featured a great bit of skill.

Harry Kane showed beautiful technique to control Jordan Pickford's big boot upfield before perfectly playing in Rashford.

Then the Man United forward carried the ball into the box before sharply cutting inside and rolling the ball into the net with his left foot. 

Save of the day

Andries Noppert 

With Senegal pushing hard for an equaliser in the final five minutes, Netherlands' goalkeeper Andries Noppert got down low to push Pape Gueye's low shot past the post and out for a corner. It was sneaking in. 

Player of the day

Bukayo Saka

Bukayo Saka took his fine form for Arsenal into the opening game of England's World Cup campaign.

He came off after 69 minutes, but made a real difference in that time with his direct running and lethal finishing. 

His first goal came from a corner after Harry Maguire nodded the ball down, teeing it up nicely to be struck sweetly into the top corner. 

Saka's second goal came in the second half when Iran's defence afforded the 21-year old too much time and space in the box and he placed the ball into the net.

Magic moments

  • The Iranian team refusing to sing their national anthem in support of protesters and women in their homeland. 

 

  • The much maligned Harry Maguire putting in a superb performance for England, including being wrestled to the ground for what looked like a nailed on penalty - VAR overlooked it. 

 

  • 19-year-old Jude Bellingham scoring his first goal for England after a stunning season so far for Dortmund, which has seen him become one of Europe's biggest talents. 
 
  • ITV commentator introducing the USA vs Wales match with this gem: "Wales gave Hollywood Richard Burton... gave Vegas Tom Jones... and gave LA Gareth Bale. What can they give the USA tonight?" 
Jude Bellingham and Mason Mount celebrate for England
Jude Bellingham scored his first goal for England after telling journalists he'd been 'saving himself' for the World Cup

Quote of the day

Gareth Southgate on conceding two goals

"We've got to be really happy but we shouldn't be conceding two goals at that stage. We've got to be right at it for game against the States. It was great today - but we'll have to be better.

"There were 24 minutes of added time, so it was a long time to focus, but we lost concentration and when we play at a slower tempo we're not anywhere near as effective.

"I'm a miserable so and so! I should be more excited but I have to keep the team on the right track and we will need to be better." 

Image of the day

In one of the most powerful moments so far during this World Cup, the Iranian team stood in silence as their national anthem was played before kick-off - showing solidarity with the anti-government protesters and women in their country. 

Earlier on defender Ehsan Hajsafi became the first member of Iran's national team to speak out on the matter, saying:

"They should know that we are with them. And we support them. And we sympathise with them regarding the conditions.

"We have to accept the conditions in our country are not right and our people are not happy. We are here but it does not mean we should not be their voice or we should not respect them."

Iran national anthem
Iran remained silent during their national anthem in support of Iranian women and protesters

Said on social

Upcoming fixtures

Tuesday 22 November: 

Group C - Argentina vs Saudi Arabia - 10am KO

Group D - Denmark vs Tunisia - 1pm KO

Group C - Mexico vs Poland - 4pm KO

Group D - France vs Australia - 7pm KO