England entered a World Cup quarter-final clash with defending champions France after beating Senegal 3-0 in the last 16.
After a sluggish start at the Al Bayt Stadium, England came alive in the 39th minute when Jude Bellingham brilliantly set up Jordan Henderson for the opener.
It got better for Gareth Southgate’s team before the break when Bellingham started a devastating quarter for England, which was completed by Harry Kane (45 + 3) for his first goal of the competition.
England’s lead into the last eight continued at the break as Bukayo Saka (57) justified his return to the starting XI and finished to convert Phil Foden’s cross.
It made for a very good finish to the game for England as Southgate stepped into the game as he looked to set his team up for what was to come.
It sets up a last-eight clash with France on Saturday (starting at 7pm), who were boosted by Kylian Mbappe’s clinical performance as his double helped them win against Poland 3-1.
Big moments in sports…
- 23 min: Sarr fires the first chance of the game with a cross.
- 32 min: Pickford comes to England’s rescue, making a superb save to deny Dia.
- 39 min: A pass from Bellingham square allows Henderson to open for England.
- 45 + 3 min: The advantage increases as Kane finishes off an exciting attack for England.
- 57 min: England extend their lead when Saka turns home Foden’s inch cross.
England are aiming for the final of the World Cup…
Quarter-finals – Saturday December 10
England vs France – Start at 7pm
Semi-finals – Wednesday December 14
England vs Morocco/Spain/Portugal/Switzerland – Start at 7pm
How England leapfrogged African champions to reach the last eight…
As they did against Wales, England started slowly and there were moments of trouble for Harry Maguire, who twice went through first Boulaye Dia and then Iliman Ndiaye.
Senegal were pressing hard and making England’s defenders, who saw a lot of the ball, a lot of trouble.
England couldn’t get going and Senegal created the first opener of the game. The ball fell well to Ismaila Sarr, who fired the ball from six yards out over the bar under pressure from Jordan Pickford. There were also appeals for a penalty that would have given Senegal a handball against John Stones, but after a brief VAR check, the game was waved off.
Pickford hit back shortly after as Saka gifted Sarr, who chipped the ball past Dia. The striker’s shot looked to be heading for the far side but the left arm of the Everton midfielder, who saved England.
It took until the 39th minute, but England showed their quality and destruction. Foden picked out Kane, who brought the ball down to score for Bellingham. Borussia Dortmund went into the penalty area for Senegal before scoring for Henderson, who completed the first half under Edouard Mendy to give Southgate’s side the lead.
England came to life after the goal. Kane shot in after being picked out by Saka from a low cross, but the Tottenham striker was not denied for long.
A scintillating attack was launched by the in-form Bellingham, who brought down a number of Senegalese players before picking out Foden. England were two-on-one and the Man City star met Kane, who blasted the ball past Mendy to put his side in control at the break.
England’s lead was boosted just before the hour mark when Saka headed home Foden’s low cross, and from then on the game was a contest.
England had been in charge of the tour since then and Southgate overturned that change by progressing to back-to-back World Cup finals – achieved by the national team in 2002 and 2006.
Southgate managed the game as Saka and Foden were replaced by Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford before Bellingham, Henderson and Stones were all given a well-deserved rest as attention turned to Saturday’s blockbuster clash with France.
What does the result mean?
England now have a World Cup quarterfinal against hosts France to look forward to next Saturday, December 10.
Kick-off at Al-Bayt Stadium will be at 7pm.