England booked a World Cup last-16 clash against Senegal as Marcus Rashford and Phil Foden inspired a 3-0 win against Wales that sent their neighbours crashing out of the tournament on Tuesday.
Gareth Southgate’s side sealed first place in Group B thanks to key contributions from Rashford and Foden after they were restored to the team by the England boss.
Foden showed why there has been such a clamour for him to start as he won the free-kick that Rashford converted to break the deadlock early in the second half at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Doha.
Foden doubled England’s lead just seconds later to effectively ended the one-sided ‘Battle of Britain’ and Rashford struck again to ensure Wales’ first World Cup since 1958 ended in disappointment.
With Foden and Rashford providing the cutting edge so lacking in their previous match — a dour goalless draw against the United States — England won for just the second time in their last nine games.
A spluttering first half showed the Three Lions still have room for improvement as they chase a first major trophy since the 1966 World Cup.
But the ruthless way they demolished Wales after the break provided encouragement ahead of Sunday’s showdown with Group A runners-up Senegal.
While England fans regard Germany and Scotland as their main rivals, Wales have never hidden how much they enjoy getting one over on their hated neighbours.
The Wales squad were famously filmed celebrating England’s embarrassing Euro 2016 exit against Iceland, while Welsh striker Kieffer Moore recently said he would love to knock the English out of the World Cup.
With those slights in mind, condemning Wales to elimination was a welcome bonus for England.
But more importantly, they eased the angst that had mounted since they were booed off after the lethargic United States stalemate that followed their 6-2 rout of Iran in the group opener.