The English national team can’t wait to snatch the qualification card for the round of 16 of the World Cup in Qatar from the Wales Gate, in the third and final round of Group C.
Sharjah 24 – Asad Khalil:
After squandering the opportunity to qualify for the last round with a goalless draw with the United States, England will need a point from Tuesday’s confrontation with neighbors Wales to secure passage to the final World Cup price in Qatar.
At Al-Rayyan’s Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, the British are hoping to regain something of the level they presented in their opening match against Iran when they won 6-2, to win their final price ticket to the second group, which he is also witnessing a politically delicate confrontation between the Americans and the Iranians, who have returned to the heart of the conflict after their deadly victory in the last round over Gareth Bale and his companions 2-0.
The “Three Lions” side made their record count against the Welsh neighbor, who they have defeated in their last six matches, including one in the 2016 European Cup (1-2 in the first round), and the last of which was a 0- 3 friendlies in October 2020.
And after the draw with the Americans, manager Gareth Southgate urged his players not to listen to what they were saying and not to think about what they heard from the boos of disapproval after the disappointing draw, performance and result against the Americans.
– ‘We can still top the group’ –
When asked what the crowd had to say, Southgate replied: “Were we booed? I’m not sure it was us. On a personal level, I’m really pleased with the way the players have implemented their ‘game plan’ against a really tough team.”
He continued: “Of course I want our fans to go home happy and I want the people at home to be happy. We didn’t manage to achieve that on Friday, but I can’t let it affect the team.”
And he underlined: “We must remain calm in these moments. We have already played in tournaments, and this is the tournament of external noise (from the media due to its importance). I am sure that we will see another wave, but we are on the way (that’s right), we can still be first in this group and that must be our goal.”
Since their exit from the first round of the 2014 World Cup, England have reached at least eight finals in three major tournaments in a row, reaching the final price of the 2016 European Cup, last summer’s final and the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup.
And he will remain on this path even if he loses against Bale and his companions on Tuesday, provided that the defeat is not by four goals or more.
And Southgate admitted that his team against the Americans lacked the quality that earned them the exhibition win against Iran, in a win that ended the “Three Lions” streak of 6 consecutive games without a win.
Southgate has been criticized for his decision to keep Phil Foden off the squad again, and even fail to include him as a substitute against the Americans, preferring to bring in Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish, after the Manchester City star was a substitute for the last quarter of an hour against Iran.
It remains to be seen whether Southgate will succumb to criticism in the face of Wales, whose manager Rob Paige has stressed the need for their players to bounce back quickly from defeat to Iran, with two fatal goals in the 8+90 and 11+90 minutes.
“We can’t sit and mourn what happened. We have a chance to fix things, luckily the next game is very close, so we can give our fans something to cheer about.”
Welsh, who returned to the final for the first time since their only appearance in 1958 when they reached the quarter-finals before losing to Brazil through Pelé’s goal, look the least fortunate of the four sides in the group, having one point from their first draw with the Americans (1-1).
After Hitchcock’s victory over the Welsh in the second round, the Iranians, led by Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz, are trying to reach the final price for the first time in the sixth participation, relying on the high morale of the players.
Defender Morteza Pour Ali Ganji commented on the deadly victory, which was the first for his country against a European team, saying: “The first match is always difficult and we managed to clear well in many respects. At the end of the match against England, (manager) Carlos Queiroz told us not to worry.” And try to get a good result against Wales… to make people happy.”