Doha, Nov 29 (EFE).- After an uninspired performance against the United States, England put up three goals – two from Marcus Rashford – against Wales here Tuesday to advance to the knockout stage of World Cup 2022 as Group B winners.
The Three Lions, who finished fourth at World Cup 2018, will face Group A runners-up Senegal on Sunday in the round of 16.
Wales, with 1 point, finished bottom in the group, behind the United States (5) and Iran (3).
The margin Tuesday at Ahmad ben Ali Stadium would have been 6-0 if not for a trio of excellent saves by goalkeeper Danny Ward, far and away the best player for the Dragons.
The first of those stops came in the 10th minute against Rashford, who said ahead of the match that he was he ready to re-energize the attack after the listless showing against the US.
England had nearly two-thirds of the ball and would end the contest with seven shots on target to one for Wales, but the only other chance of the first half was a Phil Foden strike that went over the cross-bar.
The Welsh began the second half without captain Gareth Bale, who found himself unable to continue after suffering a knock.
Foden won a free kick 20 yards from goal in the 48th minute and Rashford stepped up to take it. The Manchester United man beat Ward with a strike into the top corner.
It was Rashford’s first goal from a direct free kick in 49 appearances for England.
The 2-0 materialized less than two minutes later, as Foden connected with a cross from Harry Kane.
Rashford completed the double in the 68th minute, but Ward denied his bid for the hat trick in the 72nd. EFE msg/dr