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FIFA WORLD CUP 2022

The United Kingdom clash: England Vs Wales

England seek a high scoring passage into the knockout round as they win against Wales with 3 goals to nil

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This was one of the most anticipated games of this World Cup. A brand new English team that reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and the finals of the 2020 Euros competing against neighbors Wales, whose stellar performance at Euro 2016 turned them into a strong contender, promised to be a treat for all the fans.

 Wales, playing in their second World Cup since the 1958 edition had a point to prove while England were on the look-out for 3 more points to become the table toppers.

The current Welsh team under captain and former Real Madrid star Gareth Bale had an unimpressive start to the tournament drawing against the United States and losing by two goals to Iran in their second group game. A win was necessary for the ‘The Dragons’ as they hoped to outwit England, who (thanks to the big win against Iran and the draw against USA) had a big chance to qualify into the Round of 16 even with a defeat.

The match however saw no mercy from the ‘Three Lions’ (England National team) who dominated the game from the very start as Welsh goalkeeper Danny Ward saved a chip effort from Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford which was cleverly set up by England captain Harry Kane in the 13th minute of the game.

England midfielder Jude Bellingham’s skillful turn and combination with Manchester City playmaker Phil Foden was a tactical master class from Gareth Southgate’s squad who have picked up themselves superbly from their dismal show at the 2016 Euro Cup.

Rashford’s bicycle kick attempt in the 38th minute of the game was an eyebrow raiser for all fans in the stadium as England kept on attacking throughout the first half with even defender John Stones putting in a header from the English corner during the extra time of the first 45 minutes of the game. Welsh midfielder Joe Allen’s long distance non-target shot was the only Welsh attack on the English goal in the first half.

Wales goalkeeper Danny Ward saved countless English attempts on his goal but he was helpless for Marcus Rashford’s spot on free-kick goal in the 49th minute of the game. England who have always had free kicks as their forte seem to have found a new ‘Beckham’ for the new age.

Within minutes the English capitalized on the lead with another goal; a confident tap in from Phil Foden who seemed to have secured the game for the ‘Three Lions’

Wales however put in a fight as England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who plays his club football for Everton, punched out a tricky shot from Welsh forward Kieffer Moore, which had caught the deflection of his own defender Harry Maguire.

While the Welsh attack could not find many moments of inspiration, their defence too was unprepared for Marcus Rashford. The ‘Man U’ forward  dribbled past them with ease to score in the 67th minute of the game, formally eliminating Gareth Bale’s team from the World Cup.

England top Group B with seven points, with USA in the second position with 5 points. Both teams successfully qualify into the Round of 16.

Arijit Roy is a young correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. He has done his masters in English literature from Delhi University and has a book of poems published by Writers Workshop India. He can be reached at [email protected]

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