Marcus Rashford dedicates Wales strike to friend that lost his battle with cancer just days before World Cup clash

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Rashford Wales England celebration 2022
England forward Marcus Rashford has explained why he pointed to the sky after opening the scoring against Wales on Tuesday.

WHAT HAPPENED? Rashford fell to his knees after opening the scoring in England's game against Wales with a thunderous free-kick that flew past Danny Ward in the Wales goal. A celebration followed, and the Manchester United star has explained his reasoning for the gesture.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking after the victory, Rashford said: "Unfortunately I lost one of my friends a couple of days ago. He had a long battle with cancer, I’m pleased that I was able to score for him. He was a great person and I’m just pleased he could come into my life."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: While Rashford's first goal meant a lot to him personally, it was his second that made England history. The game was over at 2-0, but when he made it three -after Phil Foden grabbed the second - he netted what was England's 100th goal at the World Cup finals.

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Danny Ward Wales England 2022

Rashford celebration England Wales 2022

Rashford Southgate World Cup 2022

WHAT NEXT FOR RASHFORD? His brace against Wales sees him level with Cody Gakpo, Kylian Mbappe and Enner Valencia on three goals. With Ecuador eliminated, Valencia can't add to his tally. Rashford's form during the World Cup has surely made him undroppable meaning he'll likely start England's round of 16 tie against Senegal on Sunday.