ITV News Sport Editor Steve Scott reports on England's win against Wales at the 2022 World Cup
England are through to the knock-out stages of the World Cup after Marcus Rashford helped the Three Lions beat Wales in a comfortable 3-0 victory.
The victory saw England progress as Group B winners, with Wales finishing bottom with just one point and one goal from their three games.
The reward is a last-16 meeting with Senegal on Sunday, by which point Robert Page’s side will have long since left Qatar after their first appearance on the world stage in 64 years ended in frustration.
Gareth Southgate's England team broke the goalless deadlock in style just five minutes after the restart form halftime, after Phil Foden was fouled by Joe Rodon and Marcus Rashford scored the resulting free-kick.
The lead was doubled just moments later, as Foden tucked away Harry Kane’s cross after Rashford had won the ball off Ben Davies on the edge of the Wales box.
England fans in Blackpool celebrate taking the lead against Wales
Rashford then scored again just before 70 minutes. The Manchester United forward collected a pass from substitute Kalvin Phillips, firing a shot through the legs of Danny Ward, Wales' goalkeeper.
He came close to his hat-trick soon after but this time Ward was equal to his low effort.
Rashford received a warm embrace from England manager Gareth Southgate as he departed to be replaced by Jack Grealish.
Marcus Rashford opened the scoring for England with a long-range freekick
Rashford dedicated his brace in England’s World Cup victory over Wales to a friend who recently died.
The 25-year-old striker pointed to the sky after finding the net and revealed afterwards that he was paying tribute to his late friend. He said: “Unfortunately I lost one of my friends a couple of days ago. He’s had quite a long battle with cancer, so I’m pleased I managed to score for him. “He’s always been a big supporter of mine. He was just a great person and I’m pleased he came into my life, really.”
Speaking about his side’s overall display, Southgate added after the match: “I thought in the first half, we really controlled the game but we didn’t create enough clear chances.
“We wanted a little bit more thrust and threat in that final third, play forward a little bit quicker.
“Second half, once we got the two goals, we knew that their spirit was probably gone. It’s been a tough tournament for them. I thought we kept our discipline and quality right the way to the end.”
The two nations played at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium for their final group B fixture, with hordes of supporters having made the trip to the stadium and millions more watching back home.
Wales were forced into a suspected concussion substitute ten minutes before half time after a stinging drive from Rashford caught Neco Williams flush on the head, with the Nottingham Forest full-back originally playing on.
But he did not last much longer, with Connor Roberts replacing him shortly after.
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Nottingham Forest striker Brennan Johnson replaced Gareth Bale - who is usually Wales' captain - at halftime.
Following his team's defeat, Bale told BBC One he hoped to continue his international career.
“I’ll keep going as long as I can and as long as I’m wanted,” he said.
“It’s a difficult moment now. But we go again. We have a qualifying campaign (for the European Championship) starting in March and we have a few months to get away from international football now, which is obviously disappointing.”
England boss Gareth Southgate had made four changes before their clash with Wales as captain Harry Kane retained his place in the side.
England fans chanted Southgate’s name just days after boos greeted the final whistle against the United States and John Stones went close in stoppage-time to adding gloss to an emphatic win.
The full starting 11 for the England team was: Pickford, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Henderson, Rice, Bellingham; Rashford, Kane and Foden.
Wales's starting 11 was: Ward, N Williams, Mepham, Rodon, B Davies; Allen, Ampadu; Bale, Ramsey, James and Moore.
Bale - whose career is winding down in the US - and Aaron Ramsey both started for Wales despite suggestions that one or either could be dropped to the bench.
All 22 players took the knee ahead of kick-off as Wales joined their English counterparts in the pre-match anti-discrimination stance.
On his first start of the tournament, Phil Foden scored England's second goal against Wales
In their only other World Cup appearance, in 1958, Wales reached the quarter-finals of the competition, while the Three Lions have only won the title once, in 1966.
After the match, Wales manager Robert Page said: “It’s very tough at this moment in time.
“I thought first half we were outstanding. The effort they put in without the ball was exceptional.
“We addressed at half-time that we could be a little bit better with the ball but I won’t have a bad word said about that group of players. They’ve given everything today."
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