At the Al Bayt Stadium, England overcame a shaky beginning to defeat Senegal 3-0 and move on to the quarterfinals of the 2022 World Cup. The Lions of Teranga gave Gareth Southgate’s error-prone team a few early worries, but two quick goals from Jordan Henderson and Harry Kane against the flow of play put them two goals ahead before halftime.
The Three Lions’ Bukayo Saka, the lone change from the victory over Wales, made it three early in the second half to seal the outcome, but it was far from an easy victory for the 2018 semi-finalists, who will now face reigning champions France in the round of eight.
While Senegal made life difficult for England with their early aggressive pressing, the Three Lions did not help matters by making a lot of poor passes.
The primary offenders were Harry Maguire and John Stones. In the 23rd minute, the former’s pass was intercepted by Krepin Diatta, and after the Salernitana striker passed Stones, Diatta’s cross found Boulaye Dia.
The center-back for Manchester City did enough to deter Dia, but when the ball dropped to Watford’s Ismaila Sarr, he could only miss the target from a few yards out.
Stones’s handball prompted futile shouts for a penalty, and England was dealt another major letdown when, in the 32nd minute, Dia was denied by Jordan Pickford after Saka gave the ball away.
England 3-0 Senegal: The Three Lions advance to face France
Most of the time, the Three Lions’ build-up play was slow, but in the 38th minute, a rapid push up the field paid off when Bellingham cut back for Henderson to score after being set up by Kane, who was dropping deep as usual.
Three minutes later, Kane had a chance to double England’s lead, but he missed Saka’s cutback. However, just before halftime, Kane would ultimately score his first goal of the 2022 World Cup.
The vivacious Bellingham played a key role in England’s build-up once more. She drove forward and found the streaking Foden, who laid off Kane and took a touch before firing home past Edouard Mendy for his 52nd Three Lions goal, bringing him within one of Wayne Rooney’s record of 53.
In the first twelve minutes of the second half, England scored their third goal of the tournament. Phil Foden raced through a challenge on the left before finding Saka in the centre, and the Arsenal player lifted the ball over Mendy.
Aliou Cisse’s team was easily second-best in the second half as England bounced the ball around with ease while the jubilant Senegal fans were still in full shout.
Pape Sarr of Tottenham Hotspur had a brief opportunity to score after receiving a free kick in the 74th minute, but his shot was blocked and England advanced to the next round without incident.
Next Saturday at the Al Bayt Stadium, Southgate’s team will face France, who defeated Poland 3-1 in their last-16 match. Southgate’s team now has five days to recover.
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