Teams from Groups A and B of the 2022 FIFA World Cup had completed all three group fixtures, in which the Netherlands, Senegal, England and the United States of America have filled four spots of the Round of 16 of the quadrennial tournament. Louis van Gaal’s Het Nederlands Elftal topped Group A with two wins and a draw while the Lions of Teranga overcame disappointment in the first match (2-0 loss against the Netherlands) and won two consecutive games to book a place in the last 16 stage.
As for things in Group B, the Three Lions showcased their exciting young talents in the form of Marcus Rashford and Phil Foden to emerge winners in the Battle of Britain and top the group, sending their neighbours Wales home with a 3-0 victory. The loss also meant the Dragons finished the tournament without registering a single win in their three group matches. The other fixture saw the World Cup play one of its most politically-charged football matches between Iran and the United States of America, where a Christian Pulisic’s strike earned the USMNT a ticket to the Round of 16.
Marcus Rashford a Joint-Top Scorer of the World Cup
Many would expect Harry Kane to be the focal point of the Three Lions in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, but it was the young and volatile group of young lions who roared in England’s first three games. Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham, Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka, Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, Manchester City’s Phil Foden, etc. have shown what the Three Lions lacked of in past major tournaments, and the England captain was seen willingly to drop deep in games to provide his younger teammates with visional passes.
In the clash against Wales, the quiet first half was compensated by the superb display from players from both Manchester clubs, with Rashford scoring a gorgeous freekick in the 50th minute, before Kane capitalising on a mistake by his Tottenham Hotspur teammate Ben Davies to deliver a cross for Foden to double England’s lead. Rashford then added another in the 68th minute to put the icing on the cake for the Three Lions to advance to the knockout round, making himself a joint-top scorer of the tournament during the process.
Selection Headache for Southgate Ahead of the Senegal Match
The Three Lions will meet the Lions of Teranga in the Round of 16, and England boss Gareth Southgate needs to figure out who are going to be Harry Kane’s best strike partners at the front. With his usual trustee Raheem Sterling not performing to his usual standard at the moment, Southgate would have to pick between Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden, etc. to support Harry Kane. If anything, such rich options in attacking could also be a double-edged sword if Southgate screws up his selection, especially in a World Cup that is already tricky.
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(Photo Credits: Football365)