The backdrop of this match had off-the-field tensions too with USA and Iran, not on the best of terms and England and Wales being part of the same sovereign state - all teams in the same group.
Following the Iranian revolution, the US and Iran's diplomatic ties were broken. Along with tighter sanctions, the relationship between the two countries has been marked by political, diplomatic, and occasionally military conflicts. The relationship has deteriorated further since the US designated Iran as an "Axis of Evil" in 2002 for pursuing nuclear weapons aggressively. Washington accuses Tehran of carrying out attacks throughout the Middle East, particularly against US forces stationed in Iraq and Syria.
The two nations were on the verge of war in 2020 when the US assassinated a senior Iranian general and Tehran retaliated by launching missiles at US forces stationed in Iraq.
In the match, Iran were hammered 6-2 in an emphatic World Cup opener for England thanks to two goals from Bukayo Saka and strikes by Jude Bellingham and Raheem Sterling, before substitutes Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish rounded off the rout.
The match was done and dusted in the first half as Iran conceded three goals. They scored two back, thanks to a late penalty but conceded three more in the second half.
There was a long delay in the first half after Iran's goalkeeper Ali Beiranvand suffered a head injury. The Iran goalkeeper tried to carry on but ended up having to be taken off as a substitute.
England had come close to taking the lead in the Group B opener, with Harry Maguire heading against the crossbar, before Bellingham, 19, steered in a header from a Luke Shaw cross in the 35th minute.
Eight minutes later, England doubled their lead when Maguire climbed highest from a corner to head down for Saka to score.
Sterling flicked in a cross by captain Harry Kane in first-half stoppage time before Saka bamboozled Iran's defence and made it 4-0 in the 62nd minute. Mehdi Taremi narrowed the gap for Iran three minutes later but Rashford made it 5-1 and Grealish, also coming off the bench, scored England's sixth.
Taremi scored a consolation second goal for Iran from the penalty spot in the dying seconds.
Jude Bellingham shone after his opening goal, establishing why he is the most exciting teenager in world football. He became England's second youngest scorer at the World Cup (19 years, 145 days) behind only Michael Owen in 1998 (18 years, 190 days). but Bukayo Saka was the hotshot in front of the goal.
The Arsenal forward has been through an incredible journey since the Euro 2020 final when he had a part to play in England's lost penalty shootout. But he showed once again just why he is a player that Gareth Southgate trusts and relies on.
"I can't describe the feeling. It's amazing, I'm so happy, I'm so proud, and we've got the win as well, so it's a really special day! We needed a good start, we didn't play the best coming into the tournament. But we showed everyone how much quality we have and what we can do. It's amazing. We have to be consistent, because we have the next game coming up in a few days and we have to come again. I feel like I'm in a good place," Saka said after the match.
England dominated this game, scoring six goals and having 79% ball possession.
There will be some concerns about the Three Lions defending as they sloppily conceded two goals to Taremi through defensive lapses in concentration. They got the job done today but cannot afford this when they encounter stronger tests later in the tournament.
Iran will look to learn from the lessons ahead of their game against Wales on Friday. England face the United States on the same day.