England’s hopes of winning their first World Cup since 1966 were ended on Saturday night because the Three Lions were defeated 2-1 by France on the Al Bayt Stadium in Qatar. Gareth Southgate’s team exited the tournament in heartbreaking fashion after Harry Kane blasted a late penalty over the crossbar when presented with the chance to attract his side level for the second time in the sport.
Kane had already dispatched a spot kick within the early stages of the second half after Bukayo Saka had been brought down. But goals from Aurelien Tchouameni and Olivier Giroud proved to be the difference as Les Bleus took one step closer to retaining the trophy they won in Russia 4 years ago.
The World Cup is entering its latter stages and France will now face a showdown with Morocco within the semi-finals after the African team stunned Portugal of their quarter-finals earlier on Saturday. And the winner of that tie will face the victors of the last 4 clash between Croatia and Argentina.
Argentina saw off the Netherlands on Friday night after a penalty shootout, while Croatia’s quarter-final against Brazil was also selected spot kicks. And we could even now see a repeat of the 2018 final where France beat Croatia 4-2.
The World Cup has proved to be a scintillating affair, with some giants of world football suffering heartbreaking exits and smaller footballing nations having fun with fairytale journeys into the knockout stages. And Morocco’s progression within the tournament means they’re the primary African nation in history to succeed in the semi-finals.
The agony of England’s Qatar departure might be felt for weeks as the truth of one other trophyless tournament sets in. But for the 4 countries remaining, there continues to be hope of glory. And we’ll be readily available to bring you all the newest news from Qatar.
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