Marcus Rashford celebrates against Wales

Rashford: I play for moments like this

Tuesday 29 November 2022 22:06

Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford scored his first international brace as England progressed to the World Cup's Round of 16 with a rampant 3-0 victory over Wales.

Rashford's dazzling display for a side also featuring Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw will surely steal the newspaper headlines.

The first of his two goals came from a perfectly placed free-kick just outside the area, while his second featured a driving solo run into the box and a clinical shot that was drilled between the legs of Wales goalkeeper Danny Ward.

That was England's third strike of the night; Phil Foden had put them 2-0 up from a Harry Kane ball that fizzed across the box, minutes after Rashford's free-kick.

Rashford slams home his second goal of the night for England.

Having netted from the bench in their tournament opener against Iran, Rashford is now the tournament's joint-top scorer.

"It's a great feeling [to score twice]," Rashford told BBC Sport at full-time. 

"We were a little bit disappointed as a team after the last game against the USA. I thought we could have played a lot better and the only way to bounce back from that is to have a good performance in your next game and I thought we did that. 

"In the first half we defended brilliantly, we didn't really give them any opportunities, and it was just about us killing the game off and taking our chances."

Three points ensured England topped Group B ahead of USA, and Rashford's brace played a key role in helping them do so. 

"Moments like this - this is what I play football for," he continued. 

"The biggest moments, the best moments, and I'm really happy today. I'm happy that we're going through to the next round of the tournament."

But even after such a dominant display tonight, and topping their group, Rashford still thinks this England side has even more to offer. 

Our no.10 added: "Hopefully we can build on this performance because I still have massive ambitions for this team and I think we can play even better than we showed today."

Rashford's perfectly placed free-kick earned praise from England manager Gareth Southgate.

A stellar showing earned the plaudits of England boss Gareth Southgate, who has been delighted by what he has seen from Rashford. 

"It's great for him. He's trained really well, I have to say," he told BBC Sport.

"He's been really impressive since he came back in with us. He could have had a hat-trick really, he had that chance in the first half and one at the near post in the second.

"The free-kick - that is what he is capable of, it was an incredible strike."

Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw featured in another clean sheet for the Three Lions.

United's defensive duo of Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw also featured as Southgate's side registered a second successive clean sheet. 

Shaw played 65 minutes before being replaced by Kieran Trippier, while Maguire saw the game out at the back. 

Rashford was rested in the 76th minute when Jack Grealish came on. 

All three Reds will hope to be involved again on Sunday when England face Senegal, while their final group opponents Wales head home from Qatar after bowing out.