England Defeats The African champions Senegal To Set Up A Mouth-Watering Clash Against World Cup Holders France In The Quarter-Finals.

 The African champions Senegal are out of the 2022 FIFA World Cup after losing 3-0 to the Three Lions of England on Sunday night.

Coming into the round-of-16 tie at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, England who are regarded as strong contenders for the World Cup title, were unbeaten in Group B, with two wins and a draw they topped the group that has USA, Iran, and Wales with 7 points.

While Senegal, the reigning African Cup of Nations champions, reached the last 16 after beating Ecuador in their last Group A match decider. With two wins and a loss, they finished second in the Group A that has Netherlands, Ecuador and host nation Qatar with 6 points.

The Three Lions were without Raheem Sterling due to a “family matter”.

Senegal did have more shots overall, but they only managed a solitary effort on target compared with England’s four, which proved the difference.

At the tender age of 19, it is Jude Bellingham who has emerged as England’s driving force, and this is not the first time in Qatar, that Bellingham masterclass would inspire the Three Lions.

Following a nervous and sluggish start to the encounter, the teenage midfielder set up Jordan Henderson’s opening goal after a brilliant run beyond the Senegal defence in the 38th minute.

The Borussia Dortmund youngster, is the first teenager to assist in a World Cup knockout stage game since 1966, having already announced his arrival on the global stage by netting his first England goal in the 6-2 trashing of Iran in their group B opener.

Bellingham also played a key role in the second, as he launched a devastating England counter, which was scored by captain Harry Kane just before half-time (45+3) for his first goal of the 2022 World Cup.

The Tottenham striker Kane, has now netted 11 times at major tournaments, overtaking Gary Lineker as England’s all-time top scorer in those competitions, and he is now just one goal shy of equaling Wayne Rooney’s England record.

Down 2-0 at the half, Senegal looked to bounce back and erase the deficit as soon as possible, However, England continued their relentless advance on the other end.

Arsenal starman Bukayo Saka made it 3-0 with nearly an hour gone (57 minute), converting a cross from Phil Foden and England were able to seal the win from there.

The Teranga Lions who now exit the tournament, should not be too dismayed with the result having already lost a few key players in Sadio Mane (injury) and Idrissa Gueye (suspension).

England now eased into the World Cup quarter-finals and set up a titanic clash against holders France on Saturday, December 10 for a place in the semi-finals.

Euro 2020 runners-up England have won only one of their last eight meetings with 2018 World champions France, who pose a significant threat to their hopes of winning a first major title since 56 years.

England boss Gareth Southgate speaking after the victory, said that the quater-final clash with the World Cup holders will be a huge step up for his side, as he looked ahead of mouth-watering tie;

"In terms of France, it's the biggest test that we could face. They’re world champions, they have incredible depth of talent, outstanding individual players, they’re very difficult to play against and to score goals against. we know this is a step up from what we've had so far,"

"So it's a fantastic challenge, a brilliant game for us to prepare for. There are two quarter-finals already in place that are fantastic historical football rivalries, great games from the past, a brilliant game for us to be involved with and test ourselves against the very best.

He added: "Mbappe is of course a world class player. He has already delivered big moments in this tournament and in previous tournaments. Also Griezmann is now over 70 consecutive games for France, he’s also a phenomenal player. We know Olivier Giroud as well.

"They have outstanding young midfield players as well. We study France at every age group, they have incredible depth of talent in every position. It’s a huge test, we’re really looking forward to it. It’s a great challenge for our team now.

"But our team have garnered so much experience in the last few years, they're playing with confidence and we look threatening. We're scoring goals and another clean sheet is lovely to see."

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