England booked their place in the last-16 of the World Cup, where they will face Senegal, with a 3-0 win over Wales as they sealed top spot in Group B thanks to a brace from Rashford either side of a goal from Phil Foden.
All those goals came after the break, following a fairly uneventful 45 minutes that did little to raise excitement levels after the dull draw with the USA in England’s second group-stage match.
That changed in the second-half as the Three Lions clicked into gear, a change in mentality that Southgate called for in his half-time team talk.
“At half-time the manager said we’d played really but the one thing we can work better on is shots on goal,” Rashford told the BBC.
“I think we only had two or three in the first-half, so we wanted to work the keeper more. We wanted to keep getting in dangerous positions, which I thought we were doing in the first half but in the second half we made them count.”
After also scoring against Iran, Rashford’s brace leaves him joint-top of the Golden Boot race, and has put forward a very strong case for the Manchester United forward to keep his place in the side against Senegal.
The 25-year-old looks close to his best once again after a couple of years in which his form has dipped, and could prove to be one of England’s key men in the knockout stages having started the tournament on the bench.
Wales v England FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar | Group B Match | 29th November 2022
“Moments like this, this is what I play football for, the biggest moments, the best moments,” Rashford said.
“I’m really happy that we’re going through to the next round of the tournament and I hope we can build on this performance. I have massive ambition for this team and I think we play even better than what we showed today.