England used the emotional game against Wales to an exclamation point. The title dream of the “Three Lions” is alive.

    Jude Bellingham threw his arms in the air, Gareth Southgate hugged his match winner Marcus Rashford and the fans sang “Jingle Bells”: With a spectacular double strike and an anniversary goal in the “Battle of Britain”, England has its ambitions for the first World Cup title impressively underlined for 56 years and dreams of giving presents before Christmas.

    The young stars of the “Three Lions” sent Wales home with veteran star Gareth Bale 3-0 (0-0) unperturbed.

    With two goals within 96 seconds, the Southgate team initiated what was ultimately a clear success in a brother duel after a clear increase in performance in the second round. England advanced to the Round of 16 as Group B winners and meet Senegal in the round of 16 on Sunday.

    “It’s a great feeling. I play football for moments like this,” said Rashford, who opened the scoring with a direct free-kick in the 50th minute of the game, and later the attacker also scored England’s 100th World Cup goal (68th minute). .). A few blinks of an eye after the lead, Phil Foden scored to make it 2-0 (51st).

    For the 33-year-old Bale, however, his first and probably last World Cup ended in great disappointment. The five-time Champions League winner was substituted after a poor performance at half-time.

    But no breather for BVB star Bellingham

    Millions of fans were expected in the pubs on the island while the first World Cup duel between the British “Home Nations” was going on in front of 40,000 spectators at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Ar-Rayyan.

    The English side undoubtedly had the better prospects, and given their comfortable starting position, they discussed captain Harry Kane before kick-off. After the victory against Iran (6:2) and the draw against the USA (0:0), even a three-goal defeat was enough for the European runners-up to advance.

    Southgate decided against a break from Kane and, alongside Borussia Dortmund director Bellingham, brought Foden from the start for the first time in Qatar. Wales, who definitely needed a win to have any hope, opted for an attacking three-pointer with Bale.

    England’s double whammy pulls the tooth of harmless Welsh

    But the English dominated from the start. Rashford missed the first good opportunity after Kane’s through ball (10′), after which the favorite controlled the game without taking too much risk.

    When Bellingham and Co. picked up the pace at the end of the first half, the chances increased, as with the shots by Foden (38th) and again Rashford (39th). The waiting Welsh were only out to keep the zero at first and did not take place offensively in the first round.

    With the change, Bale stayed in the cabin after a measly eight ball contacts. The former Real Madrid star had denied that it would be his last international match before the game, in which England immediately took the reins in the second half and used the group final to make a real statement.

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