DOHA – England recovered from a sluggish start to register an impressive 3-0 victory over Senegal in their first World Cup knockout stage match on Sunday evening.
The result means the Three Lions will go up against France in the quarter-finals next week, with Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka finding the back of the net to claim the spoils for Gareth Southgate’s side.
Earlier in the day, Olivier Giroud became France’s all-time leading men’s goal scorer as the World Cup holders cruised past Poland to reach the quarter-finals.
The AC Milan striker scored his 52nd goal for France to claim the country’s outright record, surpassing the great Thierry Henry.
The historic goal came on the stroke of half-time after Giroud controlled Kylian Mbappe‘s pass before converting low into the net beyond the reach of Wojciech Szczesny.
But having provided the assist for the first goal, the brilliant Mbappe turned on the style by scoring two fabulous strikes in the second half.
He hit a powerful drive into the roof of the net from 16 yards for his first and curled home a wonderful second in injury time to take the lead in the Golden Boot race with five goals.
Didier Deschamps‘ side had been left frustrated up until the opener and could well have fallen behind.
England took a while to get going at the Al Bayt Stadium, with Senegal missing two gilt-edged chances to take the lead for themselves before Henderson rolled the ball home to open the scoring just before half-time. Kane went on to double England’s advantage with the final kick of the half to finish off a sweeping counter-attacking move and give themselves some breathing space at the interval.
Saka wasted no time in adding a third for England shortly before the hour mark, with the Arsenal man diverting Phil Foden’s pinpoint delivery into the net with a deft flick from close range. However, it was Jude Bellingham who managed to steal the show for England with yet another age-defying performance in the middle of the park before he was replaced by Mason Mount in the closing stages of the match.