England had a comfortable 3-0 victory over Wales in their final group stage match that also resulted in the three lions’ holding onto first place in Group B and has thus set up a matchup with Senegal in the knockout rounds. Marcus Rashford and Phil Foden made the most of their opportunities as starters to help England knock Wales out of the World Cup. Since the disappointing goalless draw with the USA, England manager Gareth Southgate has been questioned about Foden’s lack of playing time in the tournament thus far. However, given the opportunity the player showed what he is capable of. At the start of the second half, the Manchester City forward shown what he can provide to this stage, winning a free kick that was superbly converted by Rashford, and then placing one in at the back post moments later to put his team on course for a comfortable win. Rashford, who had previously scored in the rout of Iran in the first game, highlighted his own stellar play with a superb second goal, taking up a pass over the top from substitute Kalvin Phillips before cutting inside his defender and shooting through Danny Ward’s legs. Soon after, as he went for a hat-trick, he sent the Wales goalie reeling at his near post, and it now appears as though he will be given a start in the next round by Southgate without any hesitation.
Wales did well to contain their opposition in the initial half but never really threatened to spring the upset necessary. Wales needed a win and a positive outcome in the other group match to continue their first World Cup journey since 1958. Only a deflected long-range attempt from Kieffer Moore forced Jordan Pickford to work in the England goal during their first shot, which was in first-half stoppage time. Gareth Bale just had seven touches in the first 45 minutes of play before being forced out with an injury at halftime in what might have been his final major international tournament participation for his nation. His next move will be a hot topic as Wales considers their remarkable journey to Qatar, but also their disappointing performance in the group stage and their first major tournament without a victory.
Although the knockout stage is still ahead for England, Southgate will be heartened by his team’s depth, with Foden and Rashford serving as examples of the variety of attacking options at his disposal, and Kyle Walker and Jordan Phillips earning crucial playing time following injury returns. With their victory, England will play Senegal in the round of 16 on Sunday, December 4, at 7 p.m. With just one point from their three games, Wales finishes their campaign in last place in Group B due to their loss and the USA’s victory over Iran.
Wales playing XI: Bale, J.Allen, Ramsey, Ward, Ben Davies, Kieffer Moore, Daniel James, Joe Rodon, Ampadu, Mepham, Neco Williams
Subs: Chris Gunter, Jonathan Williams, Tom Lockyer, Adam Davies, Joe Morrell, Harry Wilson, Connor Roberts, Sorba Thomas, Mark Harris, Matt Smith, Ben Cabango, Levitt, Brennan Johnson, Rubin Colwill
England playing XI: Henderson, Walker, Kane, Pickford, Maguire, Stones, Shaw, Rice, Rashford, Foden, Jude Bellingham
Subs: Callum Wilson, Trippier, Sterling, Coady, Grealish, Pope, Dier, Maddison, Mount, Alexander-Arnold, Kalvin Phillips, Ramsdale, Conor Gallagher, Saka