Why were there nearly 30 minutes stoppage time in England vs Iran?
- First-half lasted almost an hour
- Iran keeper and Maguire head injuries
- VAR review also extends second half
WHAT HAPPENED? The Three Lions had to contend with sweltering conditions in Qatar, with Gareth Southgate’s side having to take in more time on the field than they would have expected to at kick-off. They were, however, able to rack up a convincing 6-2 win thanks to a Bukayo Saka brace and goals from Jude Bellingham, Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish.
WHY WAS THERE SO MUCH STOPPAGE TIME? Fourteen minutes were added to the first half after Iran’s first-choice goalkeeper, Alireza Beiranvand, suffered a serious head injury in the early exchanges. He required lengthy treatment on the field and was finally replaced after going to ground for a second time and eventually being stretchered from the pitch. The second half was then extended by 12 minutes as Harry Maguire also sustained a blow to the head that forced him off the pitch after treatment before a prolonged VAR check preceded Iran's late consolation goal from the penalty spot.
STORY IN A PHOTO:
WHAT NEXT? England enjoyed a dream start to their 2022 World Cup campaign, with goals flowing from the off, and they will want that feel-good factor to carry them through upcoming Group B clashes with the United States and Wales.