Wales exit the World Cup following 3-0 defeat against England
Wales’ first World Cup appearance since 1958 was brought to an abrupt end following defeat to England in the final Group B game for both sides.
Welsh hopes of progressing were hanging by a thread heading into a group finale in which Gareth Southgate’s men only needed to avoid a four-goal loss to progress to the last 16.
The 104th meeting against England was the first to be played at a World Cup and England comprehensively won Tuesday’s clash 3-0.
The reward for England is a last-16 meeting with Senegal on Sunday.
Wales’ draw with the United States and heart-breaking late loss to Iran meant they faced an uphill battle against a side who controlled a lifeless first half without creating too many clear-cut chances.
Chesney Hawkes’ surprising half-time appearance was the most entertaining moment of the evening until the 50th minute, when Rashford stepped up to score a from a free-kick from distance.
The half-time performance of popstar Hawkes was as surprising as the news that Brennan Johnson was replacing Wales captain Gareth Bale due to injury at the break.
Wales quickly saw hopes of a first win against England since 1984 extinguished as the second period got underway.
Joe Rodon was adjudged to have fouled Foden and Rashford took the resulting free-kick from 24 yards, that beat Ward and found the back of the net in the 50th minute.
Within two minutes England were 2-0 up.
Rashford pressed Ben Davies on the right flank and the ball ricocheted forward to Kane, who sent a low driven cross to the far post where Foden passed the ball into the back of the net.
Wales attempted to reduce the deficit. Jordan Pickford was panicked by a curling Daniel James effort and produced a fine reaction save to prevent Harry Maguire deflecting a Kieffer Moore shot home.
Southgate rung the changes with the game seemingly over, allowing Kane to get a breather, Kyle Walker to come off after his first start since October and Kalvin Phillips to get some minutes under his belt.
Wales defender Davies limped off and Aaron Ramsey joined James on a booking after a poor challenge on Jordan Henderson as the match looked set to peter out.
Rashford then burst forward showing good footwork and composure before sending a fierce strike through Ward’s legs for England’s 100th goal at World Cup finals tournaments.
The Wales goalkeeper soon denied the 25-year-old his hat-trick, before thwarting Jude Bellingham and watching Foden hook the rebound wide under pressure.
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