After initial difficulties, the Three Lions easily reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup and are now looking forward to the showdown with world champions France. Captain Kane's team clearly won 3-0 (2-0) against African champions Senegal in Al-Khour on Sunday evening and remains unbeaten in this tournament. Veteran Jordan Henderson (38'), Kane (45') and Bukayo Saka (57') scored for head coach Gareth Southgate's team.
"We put in a great performance. 3-0 is a really good result. The mentality was absolutely great. We took our chances," said Kane, who scored his first goal at this World Cup in front of 65,985 spectators and scored his eleventh goal in major tournaments . He surpassed Gary Lineker (10) as the top scorer. "It's a really good day for us. I'm happy as a goalscorer," said Kane. "It was a great night."
The Three Lions are the only European team to have reached at least the quarter-finals at the 2018 World Cup, Euro 2021 and World Cup 2022 - in the last two tournaments they also made it to the semi-finals. Against the French around superstar Kylian Mbappé, however, a much more difficult task awaits the English. "These are real champions. I hope it's a good fight," said Kane.
Senegal, as the penultimate African representative, kept up well for 40 minutes, but looked broken after the quick brace just before half-time. Unlike at the 2002 World Cup, this time they did not make it into the last eight, which from an African perspective only Morocco can now do against Spain on Tuesday. "It was a tough game against tough opponents," said Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly. "We will continue to grow and learn from the mistakes."
Double goalscorer Kylian Mbappé has led France's star ensemble to the quarter-finals and ended Robert Lewandowski's World Cup dream. Led by Mbappé, who was involved in all three goals, the soccer world champion celebrated a well-deserved 3-1 (1-0) against Poland after a superior performance on Sunday. In the superstar summit, Mbappé initiated the lead from record goalscorer Olivier Giroud (44th) - and then executed with a perfect shot from 14 meters (74th) and in injury time (90th 1).
After the record evening in Al-Thumama, when captain Hugo Lloris became the record international, the Équipe Tricolore can look forward to a great classic against England or the duel against Senegal in the top eight on Saturday. After all, Lewandowski was able to celebrate once when he scored his second goal in the World Cup with a hand penalty in injury time in the second attempt.
In front of 40,989 spectators in the Al-Thumama stadium, the two super strikers Mbappé and Lewandowski tried in different ways to set offensive accents. Mbappé presented himself more effectively - and also supported by more attack class. The 23-year-old not only played in one of the rare gaps in Poland's defense for the new sole French goalscorer Giroud, who has now left Thierry Henry behind with 52 goals. The full-speed soccer player always tried to put his colleagues in the limelight as a team-friendly passing station. After a hard fight against him, Mbappé was denied a penalty in the second half - before that it had been ruled offside. After his goal, he once again urged the French fans, who want to see their team in the final on 18 December.
After a cross pass from Ousmane Dembélé, Giroud couldn't get the ball properly and missed the 1-0 there. Things went better just before the break: After Mbappé's perfect preliminary work, he gave Poland's strong support Wojciech Szczesny no chance in this tournament. The Juve goalkeeper was often in focus, making a strong save after a free-kick from Antoine Griezmann (48').
After an initial phase with almost no respite, the two-time World Cup bronze medalist Poland countered the French finesse with more courage and, above all, duel strength. In the intense duels, they repeatedly tested where the boundary between foul and not-yet-foul lay. An example of this was Przemyslaw Frankowski's jersey pluck, which slowed down the top speed of 35 km/h - to his own surprise, Mbappé did not get a free kick for this.