Marcus Rashford produced the best performance of any player for England in this year's FIFA World Cup against Wales, but has revealed the heartbreaking meaning behind his goal celebration. England secured top spot in Group B at the Qatar World Cup after a second-half blitz helped them defeat Wales 3-0.
Rashford scored a rocket of a free-kick in the second-half, before England won the ball off the kick-off and Manchester City star Phil Foden slotted home to secure the three points. The Manchester United forward then capped off the win after dribbling around two Wales players and firing the shot past the keeper.
Rashford dropped to his knees and pointed to the sky in celebration after one of his goals. And in a devastating reveal, Rashford admitted the celebration was dedicated to a friend that had recently died after a battle with cancer.
“I lost one of my friends a couple of days ago. He had quite a long battle with cancer," he said post-match. "I’m pleased I scored for him, he was a big supporter and good friend of mine. He was someone who came into my life.”
Rashford also shared his thought for the match, which was arguably his best performance in a Three Lions jersey.
“It’s a great feeling. We were a bit disappointed after the USA game, and the only way to bounce back is to have a good performance in your next game; I thought we did it," Rashford said. "It was just about taking the chances when they came."
England advance top of World Cup group
The three points secured England top spot in the group having defeated both Iran and Wales in the group stage.
England will now face a tricky encounter with African Nations champions Senegal in the round of 16.
Senegal defeated Ecuador 2-1 to advance second in their group behind the Netherlands.
Wales were left disappointed after a brutal World Cup campaign, which saw them lose to both England and Iran.
Talisman Gareth Bale was clearly extremely disappointed after the eventual 3-0 loss, pushing away a cameraman after the final whistle as they attempted to get a close-up shot of the 33-year-old in what could well be his final international appearance.
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