SPORT: Football, World Cup ‘22 – Day 2, England vs Iran

Bellingham celebrates his first World Cup goal.

I managed to get home early enough to catch the England Iran game yesterday. I missed the first ten minutes or so, and arrived back during what turned out to be a marathon time-out, due to the Iranian goal keeper bashing heads with one of his defenders.

This wound up adding 14 or 15 minutes of extra time to the first half. Is that a record?When I got home I knocked on our neighbour’s door, knowing he had the day off, and thinking watching the footy on the social might be fun. It was. Too much fun, in the end!

The match itself was goalless when I arrived. But, once play resumed, the goals started coming thick and fast. I think it was 3-0 by half time. Not the dull game I had worried it might be.

Saka – scored twice – celebrates.

In the end we wound up having dinner round there; I picked Teresa up at the station, and Regina very kindly fed us all. The only bum note was my excessive intake of alcohol (ah, the irony!*). I bought a couple of cases of Shipyard Ale, on a two-for-one (almost) promo’, at Sainsburys. And then drank way too many cans.

Now I’m paying for it. With a hangover, and a gassy bloated tummy. Aaargh…. How I hate being an idiot! Still, at least the football was fun.

* Qatar tried banning booze altogether, upsetting sponsor, Budweiser. I’m still not clear what the situation is! Here’s something on the subject.

Pickford and Kane celebrate.

Amazingly, with six goals, Kane – instrumental in a few of them (feeding Sterling the third goal, and Rashford, the fifth – on his third touch! – for example), and still key to our success – didn’t actually score any of them. He must have been both very chuffed at the result, and a bit gutted not to be on the scoresheet. Speaking of which:

J. Bellingham 35'
B. Saka 43', 62'
R. Sterling 45+1'
M. Rashford 71'
J. Grealish 90'

M. Taremi 65’,90+13' (P)

Taremi’s first goal for Iran was superb. His second – a penalty – prob’ shouldn’t have been given. But you can’t begrudge him or Iran their two goals, in the end. England’s emphatic dominance and victory were still more than adequately reflected in the final result.

How good was it to get off to such a good start!? Amazing.

And, amidst all the political controversy, it was lovely to note that Jack ‘Calves’ Grealish dedicated his goal (England’s sixth of the match!) to a young fan:

Grealish meets Finlay.
A celebratory move is agreed upon…
… and, very sweetly, a promise is kept.

BTW, the politics of the region once again made itself apparent: the Iranian players didn’t sing their own national anthem – which caused Gary Lineker to make the observation that it was ‘a powerful and very significant gesture’ – and there were protest placards in the crowd, with slogans such as ‘Iranian women’ (in ref’ to the death in custody of Mahsa Amini).

On a lighter note, I met Miklas’ pet rat (very cute!), and had a go on their Carlsbro e-kit. I was so drunk and the kit is set up for southpaw Chris… I could barely sit on the stool, never mind play!

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