England dismissed Senegal (3-0) with a first goal from Harry Kane on Sunday in the round of 16 of the World Cup, a success that opened the doors to the quarter-finals against the French defending champion on Saturday in the same stadium. Al-Bayt. It was the first opposition in history between the two football nations.
The first twenty minutes were calm and balanced, with no real scoring opportunity except for a breakthrough from Boulaye Dia (4th) or a header from central defender John Stones over a corner from Phil Foden (21st). But in the 23rd minute, the Senegalese Lions caused a first scare to the English when, on a cross from Krépin Diatta taken over by Boulaye Dia and countered by Stones (with the involuntary help of his arm), Ismaila Sarr inherited the ball while near the goal line, but shot over.
Stung, the English then came out of their torpor and the meeting completely changed its appearance. And on a smoothly led counter, Jude Bellingham, ideally launched by Harry Kane, centered back for Jordan Henderson whose unstoppable recovery at the penalty spot deceived Edouard Mendy, the Chelsea goalkeeper (38th).
Kane opens his counter
Two minutes later a new opportunity for England: a cross from Bukayo Saka found Kane whose unbalanced recovery with the right foot went over (41st). It was only a postponement for the captain of the Three Lions who knocked out those of Teranga in added time of the first period, with a nice strike at the conclusion of a counter-attack initiated by Bellingham and relayed by Foden (45+3).
The Tottenham gunner thus opened his goal counter in this World Cup, he who had finished top scorer in the previous one, with six goals. English domination then turned to demonstration in the 57th minute: a center from Foden on the left side found Saka who beat Ismail Jakobs and scored with a left-footed kick. What put a damper on the songs and percussion of the many Senegalese in the stands.
England, vice-champion of Europe at home in 2021 and semi-finalist of the World Cup-2018 in Russia, therefore continues its path towards perhaps a second world title after that of 1966 at home. For its part, Senegal, champion of Africa, could not repeat its feat of 2002, when it reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup in South Korea and Japan.