Phil Foden doubled England’s lead vs Wales in their World Cup clash and appeared to be replicating Cristiano Ronaldo’s iconic goal celebration before stopping short
Phil Foden appeared to be replicating the iconic goal celebration of Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo before changing his mind as England doubled their lead against Wales on Tuesday.
After a stale first half with few clear-cut opportunities for either side, Gareth Southgate’s side netted two quick-fire goals against Wales to take the match away from their opponents. A swerving Marcus Rashford free-kick broke the deadlock just after the break before Foden doubled the lead with a close range finish from Harry Kane ’s delivery.
Foden and Rashford were both making their first starts of the tournament having been overlooked from the start for the opening group games against Iran and the United States – even though Rashford did find the net after coming on as a substitute against the former.
There had been a great clamour from pundits and England supporters for Foden to be selected from the start against Wales, with Southgate opting to bring him and Rashford into the starting line-up with Bukayo Saka and Mason Mount making way.
Foden stroked home Kane’s cross to double England’s lead in the match, and wheeled away in celebration by spinning his finger in a move that many fans spotted was similar to the famous ‘Siu’ goal reaction of Ronaldo. Foden continued to replicate the celebration with a jump but just as it looked like he was opening his mouth to shout the infamous ‘SIIIIIU’, the Manchester City had a change of heart.
Southgate said of Foden ahead of the clash against Wales: “We have to be careful because we are putting a lot of pressure on him now. We’re a team and we need all of the players and they can all play a part but not any one of them is the reason we will win or lose.
“And we need to make sure we are not building Phil into as situation where actually if he steps on the pitch this is becoming really difficult for him because the level of expectation is beyond a young guy who is still establishing himself internationally.
“He is in a different environment from his club where you’re comfortable with all the players you play with, it’s really distinctive, you’re going home every night, you’re calm with everything else. This is still a unique environment. He is still a really young player and he’s doing brilliantly well and we love him to bits. We also have got to look after him a bit as well.”