Senegal ‘Extend African Jinx’ as England Set up France Q’final Clash
*Southgate admits playing reigning champions France will be difficult
African champions, Senegal, failed to end the jinx against African teams that have met England on the global stage in football as Three Lions devoured the Teranga Lions to set up a quarter final clash with reigning champions France on Saturday.
Going into the match yesterday, England had faced African opposition 20 times, including seven at the World Cup and were yet to be beaten.
The Gareth Southgate’s side will meet France in the World Cup quarter-finals on Saturday after an impressive demolition of Senegal at Al Bayt Stadium.
The Three Lions survived a nervy opening in which goalkeeper Jordan Pickford made an outstanding save from Boulaye Dia. Save for Kalidou Koulibaly, there was no real fireworks from the Senegalese.
Jude Bellingham was England’s star man, setting up the first goal for Jordan Henderson with a perfect cross after 38 minutes then having a hand in the second on the stroke of half-time, combining with Phil Foden as captain Harry Kane powered home his first goal of the tournament.
The goal leaves Kane just one behind Wayne Rooney’s all-time record of 53 England goals and he now has the perfect stage here in Qatar to write a fresh page in the history books.
Foden was the creator once more as England wrapped the game up in the 57th minute, crossing for Bukayo Saka to show great awareness and touch to flick a delicate finish past Senegal goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.
The victory capped a perfect night for manager Southgate, who opted to restore Saka and keep faith with Foden, leaving out Marcus Rashford despite his two goals in the win over Wales. Raheem Sterling was not considered as he is dealing with a family matter.
Speaking at the post match conference, Kane admitted the game was tough for the Three Lions in the first 30 minutes until they found the way to unlock the Senegalese.
Ahead of England’s quarter final clash with reigning champions France, Kane warned the match would be tough.
His coach, South similarly agreed that the French team was filled with very talented players who can really make the game difficult.
“We expected a very tough game from the talented French side brimming with individual talents.”
Mbappe is a world class players and has really delivered for France. When you look at the French team, it is a huge huge problem for us.”