Kane skies penalty as England crash out against France in quarter-finals

Kane skies penalty as England crash out against France in quarter-finals

The defending champions head to the final four of the 2022 FIFA World Cup as France edged past England with a 2-1 victory over Gareth Southgate’s men at the Al Bayt Stadium on Saturday night. Goals from Aurelien Tchouameni and Olivier Giroud in either half powered Les Bleus past the Three Lions in the quarter-finals. Harry Kane equalised for England in the second period, but the English captain missed a second spot-kick in the 84th minute to send the Three Lions crashing out of the tournament in heartbreaking fashion.

Both teams named unchanged sides from their victories in the last 16, but it was the holders who grabbed the early initiative. Kylian Mbappe kept England honest in the opening stages as he skipped past a few challenges and ran at their defence before Les Bleus opened the scoring through Aurelien Tchouameni in the 17th minute. The Real Madrid midfielder received the ball on the edge of the area from Antoine Griezmann before lasering in a shot from 30 yards out into the bottom corner to score just his second international goal.

England grew in confidence after conceding, with the Three Lions appealing for a penalty in the 25th minute for an apparent Dayot Upamecano foul on Harry Kane. The English striker also tested his club-mate Hugo Lloris with a shot from distance. Lloris made another fingertip save to start the second half from a Jude Bellingham effort, but England scored a deserved equaliser a few minutes later via a Harry Kane penalty.

France’s goalscorer – Tchouameni – clumsily fouled Bukayo Saka in the area, and Harry Kane made no mistake from the penalty spot. The Tottenham forward sent Hugo Lloris the wrong way to equal Wayne Rooney’s English goal-scoring record of 53 strikes.

France reacted well to going behind, with Adrien Rabiot testing Jordan Pickford from distance before Olivier Giroud directed his shot from point-blank range straight at Jordan Pickford to let England off the hook. France’s all-time leading scorer, though, made amends just moments later. The 36-year-old drifted into the space between the two English centre-backs and headed Antoine Griezmann’s cross into the back of the net to restore France’s lead.

That lead was in grave danger of slipping away again when Theo Hernandez barged into Mason Mount in the penalty area, gifting England another spot-kick. However, penalty woes returned to haunt the Three Lions once again as Harry Kane skied his spot kick into the crowd to send England packing.

France, meanwhile, become the first defending champions to reach the final four of the competition since Brazil in 1998 and will face Morocco in the semi-finals on Wednesday in Qatar.