Qatar WC Day 2: No OneLove Ribbon, England Maul Iran

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Match Day 2

By Gerald Lutchman

FIFA firmly told the captains who wanted to wear the OneLove antidiscrimination armband that they will get yellow cards.

Remember Qatari laws strictly outlaw any form of homosexuality. England, Wales, Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Holland were all planning to wear the bands.

England 6 vs Iran 2      

I had said this would have been an easy game for England and it was; they mauled Iran 6 to 2. The only downside to this was the two goals conceded. This can be a concern against better opposition.

Goals from Jude Bellingham (35th), Bukayo Saka (43rd  and 62nd ), Raheem Sterling (45th +1), Marcus Rashford (71st ) and Jack Grealish (90th ) secured a big victory.

It was a straightforward win and I was impressed England did not take their feet off the pedal and pressed for the entire game. Mehdi Taremi (65 and 90 +13) pulled two goals back for Iran.

This was a ruthless England and they scored freely, dominating with 79% of the possession and had 797 passes to Iran’s 215. I like the look of this side because their players are actually taking on the opposition one-on-one. Keep an eye on the English – this year they look like finalists.

Holland 2 vs Senegal 0

This encounter was not as exciting as I had hoped. Senegal actually dominated possession with 54%  compared to Holland’s 46% and were also superior on passes 436 to 385. Goals win matches and this is what Holland were able to do – score twice. Goals from Cody Gakpo (84th ) and Davy Klaassen (90th +9) were enough to gain all the points. Senegal has some wonderful chances but could not convert them into goals.

Senegal must now be careful because the door for Ecuador has been opened and that game will determine who qualifies.

USA 1 vs Wales 1

I had predicted a win for the USA and it was in the making until the Gareth Bale penalty in the 82nd minute that cancelled out Timothy Weah strike in the 36th minute. In honesty, this game was far better than the Holland vs Senegal match, which was a dull lacklustre affair.

USA dominated possession with 59% but only had one shot on target and that was a goal. Form today’s games I can see the USA along with England making it out of this group.


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