After a snooze-fest opening game between Ecuador and Qatar, the second match was exactly what was needed to pump some life into this World Cup.
Most, if not all, had England had favourites going into the game against Iran but even the optimists could not have foreseen a six-goal thumping.
A lot was talked about pre-match about the predicted lineups of the English side and Gareth Southgate perhaps surprised a few by not picking Foden, instead opting for a trio of Bukayo Saka, Mason Mount and Raheem Sterling behind striker Harry Kane.
Saka must surely still have some tainted memories with England at a major tournament, with him missing a crucial penalty against Italy in the finals of Euros 2020. He was then racially abused on social media, along with Rashford and others.
What better way for redemption than scoring in World Cup? Not once, but twice.
After Jude Bellingham opened the scoring, Saka scored his first World Cup goal with a thumping volley in the roof of the net.
Sterling added a third a few minutes later and that was that for an exciting first half.
The second 45 were more of the same for England, with Saka getting his second and England’s fourth, to dispel any notion of doubt. This time, he cut in from the left in his trademark style and placed the ball in the bottom corner, thanks to a minor deflection.
A few more goals later, the match finished and England got the start they wanted in this tournament.
Post-match, Saka was seen in the stands with his family.
We can clearly see two people apart from the player himself. One is Bukayo’s brother, who, dare we say, looks more like Saka than Saka himself.
Then there is Tolami Benson, the long-rumoured girlfriend of the Arsenal winger.
At 22 years of age, Benson is one year elder than Saka and has 7,500 followers on Instagram.
If the grapevine is to be believed, the pair started dating back in 2020 but have opted to keep their relationship private up until very recently.
The duo has refrained from sharing pictures with each other on their accounts and didn’t even follow each other on social media.
The relationship was actually uncovered by eagle-eyed fans when they spotted the two personalities share individual pictures of themselves in the same yacht in Dubai at the same time, in February last year.
While neither of the two is yet to publicly confirm the partnership, the picture captured last night is as clear an indication as one can get.
Benson joins other WAGs, a term given to Wifes and Girlfriends of players, in Qatar, including Lauren Fryer (Rice’s girlfriend), Amie Coady (Coady’s wife), Rebecca Cooke (Foden’s girlfriend) and others.
With Benson making such a high-profile appearance with the young England star in public, we can probably expect the duo to “be official” soon and publicly acknowledge their romance.