England & USA reach last 16 on dramatic final day in Group B

England and the United States booked their spots in the FIFA Men’s World Cup round of 16.

On a dramatic final day in the group and with simultaneous kick-offs, it was all to play for in Qatar.

England were too good for Wales 3-0, while USA prevailed 1-0 against Iran to join the Three Lions in the knockout phase.

Read on for the two individual match reports.

Rashford brace sends England through as group winners

Marcus Rashford and Phil Foden starred to send England through to the World Cup knockout stage as Group B winners after a 3-0 victory over Wales on Tuesday.

Victory sets up a last-16 clash with Group A runners-up Senegal on Sunday for England, while Wales crashed out in Qatar without a win for the first time in a major tournament.

Foden started at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium after being left out of the goalless draw with the United States on Friday and won the free-kick for Rashford to break the deadlock in the 50th minute.

Manchester City star Foden extended the lead just a minute later before Rashford doubled his account to eliminate an uninspiring Wales from Group B, in which the USA beat Iran to progress as runners-up.

Rashford spurned a glorious ninth-minute opportunity after being denied by the onrushing Danny Ward, who replaced the suspended Wayne Hennessey.

England continued to dominate possession without testing Ward often as Foden blasted over on the turn, while Joe Allen angled a rare Wales chance off target before the break.

A masterful Foden drive ended with an England free-kick in an inviting position before Rashford whipped into the top-right corner to beat an unsighted Ward.

Harry Kane drilled across the area from the right soon after for Foden to convert at the back post, before Jordan Pickford parried from Kieffer Moore to keep Wales at bay.

Ward was again beaten with somewhat ease as Rashford powered through the legs of the goalkeeper, who denied Jude Bellingham to keep the scoreline down late on.

Geopolitics sidelined as Pulisic and USA take down Iran

Christian Pulisic was decisive as the United States beat Iran 1-0 to secure their place in the last 16 of the World Cup as geopolitics briefly took a back seat at Al Thumama Stadium.

Due to the long-strained relationship between the two countries politically and the ongoing civil unrest in Iran, the build-up to Tuesday’s Group B clash was dominated by talk of almost anything but football.

Once the game settled, however, the USA’s superiority was abundantly clear and Iran were fortunate to only trail by Pulisic’s goal at the break, with Timothy Weah having one disallowed.

Carlos Queiroz’s side did at least manage a shot after the break, but the USA had enough to see out a slender – albeit deserved – victory and set up a last-16 clash with Group A winners the Netherlands.

After an emotionally charged opening that saw both sides show purpose, the USA began to probe with the greater regularity.

Weah let Iran off the hook just before the half-hour, taking an early header – which led to an easy save – unaware he had time for the ball to drop.

Pulisic gave Alireza Beiranvand no chance 10 minutes later, though.

Sergino Dest headed Weston McKennie’s exquisite pass into the danger zone and Pulisic slammed home while colliding with Beiranvand, ultimately forcing the Chelsea man off at the interval.

Weah strayed just offside before scoring what he thought was the USA’s second, and half-time substitute Saman Ghoddos almost capitalised as he headed over just after the break.

Iran enjoyed a lot of late pressure but their efforts did not yield an equaliser, with Morteza Pouraliganji heading agonisingly wide and Mehdi Taremi failing to convert from close range in stoppage time.

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