England Excluded From World Cup by France
France defeated England 2-1 in a nail-biting World Cup quarterfinal on Saturday thanks to a goal from Olivier Giroud and a missed penalty from Harry Kane.
Nine minutes into the second half, Kane scored from the penalty spot to tie the score after Aurelien Tchouameni had given France the lead in the first half.
Long parts of the game at Al Bayt Stadium favored England, but Giroud’s goal with 11 minutes remaining gave France the lead back, seemingly out of nowhere.
Then, as England continues to wait to win its first major international title since the 1966 World Cup, Kane blasted his second penalty of the contest over the crossbar.
However, France is still on track to successfully defend the World Cup, making them the first team to do it since Brazil did it in 1958.
As France is ready to play Morocco in the semifinals, Brazil has been eliminated from the tournament, and England has been defeated here in the desert north of Doha. France is now unquestionably the favorite to regain its title.
Amazingly, this was the first time these two fierce rivals faced off in a knockout game at a major tournament; four years prior, Croatia’s extra-time triumph against England prevented England from joining France in the final.
It was not surprising to see Southgate select an unchanged lineup with Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden either side of Harry Kane in the attack after England found their footing in the last-16 victory over Senegal after a sluggish start.
That meant he resisted the urge to switch to a back five in an effort to neutralize the threat provided by Kylian Mbappe, who finished the tournament with the most goals with five.
The French team has no shortage of goal threats, but few could have imagined that Tchouameni, a 22-year-old midfielder who had only scored once for his nation prior to this game, would score the game’s first goal.
The goal was a little contentious because it came from a France attack that appeared to have started with Dayot Upamecano fouling Saka.
Play continued after the referee from Brazil, Wilton Sampaio, gave the all-clear. Mbappe cut inside from the left before Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele combined to set up Tchouameni for a spectacular 25-yard shot that curved around Jordan Pickford and into the corner.
Before that, France appeared to be the more dangerous team, but after going down early, England took control of the situation.
Hugo Lloris, a teammate of Kane’s at Tottenham, dived at his feet as he attempted to spin away from Upamecano in the box.
Kane was obviously fouled in a collision of legs with Upamecano, and England believed they should have been awarded a penalty at that point.
A VAR review, however, disqualified a spot-kick because the officials determined that any infraction occurred outside the box.
Not to be deterred, Kane forced Lloris to tip a shot behind just before the half-hour mark, and the France goalkeeper was needed again immediately after the break to tip over a Jude Bellingham volley. Lloris made the save in his 143rd appearance for his country.
Seven minutes into the second half, Saka was hauled down in the area by Tchouameni, and this time a spot-kick was awarded as a result of the pressure.
To tie Wayne Rooney’s record for most goals scored for England, Kane went up to beat Lloris and score his 53rd goal.
The hosts may not have been alarmed, but England had the advantage and Harry Maguire headed a free-kick agonizingly wide.
Following a Dembele knockdown, Giroud forced an outstanding save from Pickford, and France quickly scored. France had produced nothing in the second half.
Giroud headed in the goal with the help of a touch from Maguire after Griezmann sent in a powerful cross from the left.
Not to worry, though; after a VAR review, the referee awarded a penalty kick for a shove on replacement Mason Mount on Theo Hernandez.
However, this time Kane flew over with his nation’s all-time goal record in sight, ending England’s World Cup hopes as well.