Country erupts in celebration as England wins first World Cup match against Iran

Football fans erupted in celebration as the England football team won its opening World Cup match against Iran this afternoon.

The Three Lions won 6 to 2 at the Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar.

Fans across the country in Manchester, Bristol, London and Coventry were seen jumping for joy and tossing their beers as England kept racking up the goals.

Many wore England flags around their shoulders and others wore hats and painted their faces.

Pupils at Caludon Castle School, Coventry were seen jumping out of their seats as England scored its sixth goal.

Some fans ripped their shirts and others sang “It’s Coming Home” after watching the high-scoring match.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak congratulated the England team for their “great start” to the World Cup after they displayed a “strong performance” in their 6-2 victory against Iran, Downing Street said.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “It’s a great start for the England team and the Prime Minister would certainly pass on his congratulations to them for such a strong performance.”

On the team taking the knee against racism, the spokesman said: “Certainly we respect the decisions that teams or individual players make when it comes to taking the knee.

“It’s very much for them to decide what they think is appropriate and we respect that.”

Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer praised England’s “immense team effort” after their World Cup victory over Iran.

“We are backing you all the way,” he tweeted.

However some fans who travelled to Qatar weren’t as happy.

Several fans said they endured ticketing problems as they attempted to enter the stadium, with some missing part of the game.

With the 4pm local time kick-off approaching, some supporters were frantically refreshing the official ticketing mobile app on their phones in a bid to have their QR code load.

This left them enduring some stressful and frustrating moments, with a group of England fans also seen arguing with officials as they kept being told entry to the queue was closed and repeatedly moved down to another entrance.

One England fan said they should have “just used paper tickets” and criticised the organisation at the stadium.

A PA news agency reporter heading in with a ticket found their ticket app only started working about 60 seconds before they reached the front of the queue having failed to work in the previous couple of hours.

Fifa acknowledged some fans were experiencing issues while Free Lions, the Football Supporters’ Association team that provides travel and logistical advice to fans, also offered guidance.

Ali Azarian, 42, an Iranian-Brit based in Singapore, who said he had “divided loyalties” for the game, got into the ground around five minutes before half-time.

He said he arrived three hours before kick-off but the tickets “disappeared” from the Fifa app.

He told PA: “At the gate they wouldn’t let us in even though we had the email confirmations.

“They sent us over to some ticket liaison office, they then sent us to a Fifa tent where there were about 500 people.

“We queued up for ages, there was a lot of controversy because someone from Fifa came out and told people they could use the email to go back into the queue.

“Those folks left the queue and were told the same thing we were told and they came back so it was just carnage.

“We stuck with it, eventually they started writing manual tickets, they printed tickets and they manually wrote our seats down and then everyone was just sprinting to the ground.

“There were probably at least 100 people behind me.”

Gareth Southgate’s men went into half-time three goals up thanks to goals from Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka and Raheem Sterling.

The second half put England’s lead even further with a second goal from Saka before Iran’s Medhi Taremi got one in the net.

Marcus Rashford then marked his return to international football with a superb goal just 50 seconds after coming on as a substitute, and then Jack Grealish benefitted from Callum Wilson ‘s unselfish play to hit Iran for six.

Taremi then bagged another consolation by slotting a penalty past Jordan Pickford in the 13th minute of added time.

After the match Southgate told BBC Sport: “I’m a bit fed up with the end of the game really.

Look, to win by that margin, to play as we did for the majority of the game, I have to be really happy. That’s the way the players have prepared, they looked ready. We felt we wanted to be that type of team.

“They dealt with the game really well, it was a sticky first half, with lots of stoppages, but we were a real threat throughout that and our pressing and movement was really good.

I’ve got to be very happy but we shouldn’t be conceding two goals at that stage of the game and we’ll have to be on it against the States [USA].

“It’s a great start but we’re going to have to be better. I think it was just a consequence of the scoreline [the sloppy end to the game]. We had 24 minutes of added time across the game. So it’s a long time to focus.

“We just lost concentration and when we play at a slower tempo we’re not as effective.”