The second day of the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar saw spectacular pitch action with the inevitable winners and losers from the first games of teams from England, Iran, the Netherlands, Senegal, Wales and the United States.
England outshined Iran with a decisive 6-2 victory as Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham lifted the Three Lions to victory in Monday’s Group B opener.
The 19-year-old Bellingham, who drew first blood, gave England a 1-0 advantage, making him the youngest English player to score at the World Cup since Michael Owen in 1998. He is also the first player born in 2000 or later to score in the tournament.
England, in search of their first World Cup since 1966, dominated possession, controlling the ball 79 percent of the match.
Saka, 21, also notched two goals, along with Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish.
Mehdi Taremi struck twice for Iran but it was not enough.
England faces the US on Friday and will play Wales on November 29.
Also on Friday, Iran takes on Wales. Iran are then scheduled to play the US on November 29.
The Netherlands, returning to the World Cup following an eight-year absence, stunned Africa’s highest-ranked team with a 2-0 win.
After a scoreless first half, Cody Gakpo sent a dazzling header whizzing past Senegalese goalkeeper Édouard Mendy on a strong cross from Frenkie de Jong in the game’s 84th minute.
Substitute Davy Klaassen put the Dutch up 2-0 late in the match, cashing in on a weak rebound fumbled by Mendy.
Dutch fans had mixed reactions to the win over Senegal: “I thought it will be easy, but it wasn’t,” Dutch fan Ron Tubee told Al Jazeera. “Senegal were very good, very fast, strong and disciplined,” he added.
“[Senegal] didn’t deserve to lose. Our first half performance was slow,” fellow Dutch fan Peter Tobben said.
Senegal’s fans, still reeling from the absence of star forward Sadio Mane, who was ruled out of the World Cup two days before the opening match due to a leg injury, remained optimistic. “In general, we played a good game,” said Abubakar Thiam, who flew to Doha from Paris to watch the match.
He added: “You know in football you also need luck, and today, we did not have it. We will do better in the next games.”
Senegal faces host nation Qatar on Friday.
They finish out their Group A schedule against Ecuador on November 29.
The Netherlands will also take on Ecuador on Friday, before clashing with Qatar on November 29.