• Thu. Sep 28th, 2023

France advances to the World Cup semifinals thanks to Olivier Giroud, while England suffers a penalty miss thanks to Harry Kane.

ByJosh Taylor

Dec 11, 2022

As holders, Olivier Giroud scored the victory and Harry Kane missed a late penalty. On Saturday, France defeated England 2-1 in a tight World Cup quarter-final. Aurelien Tchouameni put France ahead in the first half, only for Kane to equalise from the penalty spot nine minutes later. England dominated for extended portions of the game at Al Bayt Stadium, but France reclaimed the lead with 11 minutes remaining when Giroud headed home.
Kane subsequently missed his second penalty of the game, extending England’s search for its first major international prize since the 1966 World Cup. France, on the other hand, is on track to become the first team since Brazil 60 years ago to successfully defend the World Cup.
With Brazil out on Friday and England dealt with here in the desert north of Doha, France are now unquestionably the favourites to defend their title as they prepare to face Morocco in the semi-finals.
This was the first time these two great rivals met in a major tournament knockout game, with Croatia’s extra-time triumph preventing England from joining France in the final four years ago. After a slow start in the last-16 triumph over Senegal, England had found their stride, and Southgate named an unchanged lineup, with Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden either side of Kane in attack.
That means he avoided the urge to switch to a back five to tackle the threat provided by Kylian Mbappe, the tournament’s leading scorer with five goals. The French team has no shortage of goal threats, but few could have guessed that the opener would come from Tchouameni, a 22-year-old midfielder who had only scored once for his nation before this game.
The goal was controversial since it came off a France break that began with what appeared to be a foul on Saka by Dayot Upamecano. Play was restarted as Brazilian referee Wilton Sampaio waved play on, and Mbappe cut inside from the left before Ousmane Dembele and Griezmann combined to set up Tchouameni, who struck a stunning 25-metre effort that curved away from Jordan Pickford and into the corner.
France had appeared to be the more threatening side prior to then, but England surged into the game after going behind.
Pressure reveals Kane spun away from Upamecano in the area but was stopped by Tottenham teammate Hugo Lloris, who ran out to dive at his feet. Another point of contention arose when England believed they should have been awarded a penalty when Kane was obviously fouled in a tangle of legs with Upamecano.
The holders were not shaken, but England had the upper hand, and Harry Maguire headed agonisingly wide from a free kick. France had generated little in the second half until Giroud forced a fine save from Pickford after a Dembele knockdown, and they scored seconds later.
Griezmann sent in a fantastic cross from the left for Giroud to head in with a touch from Maguire. After a VAR review, Theo Hernandez was penalised for a push on replacement Mason Mount, and the referee awarded a penalty kick.
But this time, with his country’s all-time goal record in reach, Kane rocketed over, ending England’s World Cup hopes.

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