Men's Team

World Cup strike one of my best-ever feelings, says Foden

Phil Foden has described his maiden World Cup strike in England’s 3-0 Group B win over Wales on Tuesday night as ‘one of the best feelings in my career’.

The City attacking winger was handed his first start at the Qatar showpiece and produced a superb all-round display as Gareth Southgate’s side secured top spot in Group B in emphatic fashion.

While Marcus Rashford bagged a brace of goals, Foden registered his first World Cup finals goal with a sublime finish early in the second half as the Three Lions secured a last-16 date with Senegal on Sunday.

And reflecting on what was a memorable way to round off the group campaign, the 22-year-old said it was an occasion he would never forget.

“The goal was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had in my career. You could see by my celebrations it meant so much,” Foden revealed on the FA’s Lions’ Den daily webcast.

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“I felt a bit of pressure going into the game as everyone was pushing for me to play but I just tried to remember every time I put an England shirt and to relax and to try to play my best football.

“I was raring to get the start and thanks to Gareth he started me against Wales.

“I thought all the wingers have scored now, when is it going to be my chance! So to get the opportunity to play in such a big game and to score as well is extra special.

“I expect more from myself and I expect to be scoring more goals so to get one at the back post being a winger is what you want to see.

“We were controlling the game (in the first half), but we weren’t really ruthless in the final third… especially me and Rashy, we didn’t really show our ability.

“And, fair play to Gareth, he switched me and Rashford around at the break, and you could see in the second half straight away it definitely worked.

“We had spoken as a group about how it was important to finish strong for the confidence going into the next game and the camp is on a high now.

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“It was just a great game to be involved in and one that I will never forget for sure.”

Foden was one of four changes to the side that drew 0-0 with the United States last Friday, with City colleague Kyle Walker also handed his first start and John Stones again impressing in central defence

Meanwhile Kalvin Phillips made his first entrance of the tournament as a second-half substitute, with Jack Grealish also figuring off the bench once more.

And Foden believes England’s strength in depth and multitude of options could prove vital components going into the knockout stages.

“To win a World Cup you don’t just have a strong 11… you need people coming off the bench who can change it,” Foden added.

“That’s what we have here. We have so much natural talent that we can use off the bench, which is important.

“You can see the balance right through the team and it’s not just the attackers doing well.

“Harry Maguire and John Stones have done brilliant defending as well. It was a full team effort and a lot of different players have played

“Every time they put on an England shirt, they do the best they can so it’s definitely good to have that competition and everyone is ready to go.”

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England’s next target now that Sunday last-16 encounter against a talented Senegal who finished second in Group A.

The African side overcame Ecuador 2-1 in their final group game on Tuesday to seal their spot in the knockout stages and Foden says England are expecting the toughest of tests.

“There are no easy games in the World Cup,” Foden stressed.

“You saw that in the group with how tough the USA game was and with Iran going on to beat Wales. It just shows there are no easy games.

“We don’t really know them (Senegal) too much, so we will sit down and review them and be ready for the game.”

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