England 3-0 Wales: Three Lions secure top spot in Group B
TOPSHOT - England's forward #11 Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football match between Wales and England at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha on November 29, 2022. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP) (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)

England secured top spot in Group B following a 3-0 victory over Wales in a first ever meeting between the two sides at a FIFA World Cup.

The Three Lions would have to wait till the second half to break the deadlock as Marcus Rashford fired a stunning free kick past Danny Ward in the 49th minute.

Phil Foden put England 2-0 up 98 seconds later as Wales were made to pay for losing the ball cheaply in their defensive third. Rashford fired home England’s 100th World Cup goal after cutting inside Connor Roberts to fire a left-footed strike into the back of the net to put England 3-0 up.

STORY OF THE MATCH:

Gareth Southgate made 4 changes to his side following a 0-0 draw with the USA by bringing in Kyle Walker, Jordan Henderson, Marcus Rashford and Phil Foden to the Three Lions starting lineup.

Rob Page made 3 changes to his side following a 2-0 loss to Iran which saw Dan James, Joe Allen and Danny Ward introduced to a Wales side who lined up in a new-look 4-2-3-1 formation.

Ward showed alert goalkeeping and did well to come off his line to deny Marcus Rashford after he was played through on goal by a great through ball from Harry Kane in what would prove to be the only shot on target either side recorded in the first half.

Neco Williams was forced off as a concussion substitute – an additional 6th substitute that can be used by any side at this year’s World Cup – as Burnley right-back Connor Roberts replaced the 21-year-old midway through the first half.

Jude Bellingham showed great control to dance his way into the Welsh box to tee up Phil Foden in the 37th minute - but the Manchester City ace fizzed his effort over the crossbar as both sides went into the break deadlocked at 0-0.

Brennan Johnson replaced Gareth Bale at halftime as Wales looked to add a fresh injection of pace to their game-plan for the second half. Marcus Rashford rifled home a stunning free kick to give England the lead in the 49th minute following a foul on Phil Foden. Foden put England 2-0 up 98 seconds later as he slotted home a pinpoint cross from Harry Kane after poor defensive play from Ben Davies in Wales’s defensive third.

Rashford would go on to score England’s 100th World Cup goal following a fantastic long-ball from substitute Kalvin Phillips allowed him to cut inside Connor Roberts and fire home a left-footed strike to put his side 3-0 up. Wales, playing for their pride, made a few attacking substitutions with the likes of Harry Wilson being introduced - which also saw a World Cup debut for 20-year-old Cardiff winger Rubin Colwill.

England are set to face Senegal in the round of 16 following their 2-1 victory over Ecuador secured the African outfit second spot in Group A.

Player of the match: Marcus Rashford

The Manchester United winger has hit form at the perfect time, which see him tied as the joint-leading goal scorer at the tournament with 3 goals to his name. His pace and clinical finishing will remind United fans of his debut season, and England fans will be hoping he can maintain it heading into the knockout phase of the competition.

 

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