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England coach Gareth Southgate made World Cup history with a 6-2 win over Iran

Gareth Southgate has been under intense scrutiny in recent months but his England side proved once again they are a force to be reckoned with as they started the World Cup season with a bang.

The Three Lions beat Iran 6-2 in their Group B opener, while rivals USA and Wales will play tonight, with Bukayo Saka starring as he bagged a masterful brace.

With the victory, Southgate scooped two very impressive accolades, having now won more games than any other Three Lions coach in major tournaments, while also setting the record for most goals scored by an English side in a World Cup opener.

Southgate has now won nine games in major tournaments, including the World Cup and European Championship, having previously shared the record with Sir Alf Ramsey at eight.

Ramsey is, of course, the only manager to have led England to a World Cup triumph in 1966. Southgate will now try to replicate that feat in Qatar.

Meanwhile, Southgate now holds the title for the all-time best setback in a World Cup opener, marking the second time his side have scored six goals in football’s most prestigious competition.

England met Panama six times in the second game of their 2018 World Cup campaign, with Harry Kane scoring a hat-trick, John Stones notching a brace and Jesse Lingard also making an appearance.

Despite the impressive performance, Southgate was not entirely satisfied with his side, who he felt shouldn’t have conceded two goals against a much weaker side.

‘[I was] I’m a little tired of the ending,” he said after the game. “To win with that margin and play most of the game like we did, you have to be happy.

“The players looked ready – we wanted to be that type of team. You handled it well. We had a tricky first half – we were a real threat the whole time, the pressing and movement was really good.

“We must be really happy, but we shouldn’t concede two goals at this point. We have to be just right for the game against the States. It was great today but we have to get better.’


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