In an action-packed match that unfolded in the Al Bayt Stadium earlier for a battle to the semi-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, France swirled across the English team to register a floating victory of 2-1 against Harry Kane’s England.
This match was a much-awaited faceoff of the defending champions, France, against Southgate’s England, whose dreams of bringing it home this year will remain a dream. Southgate had earlier said that the English team would play an all-out attack against the French, but it didn’t make much difference.
The electrifying match saw the unfolding of the two young sensations of this world cup, Kylian Mbappe and Bukayo Saka, against each other. However, both failed to register their names in the scoresheet in this match.
Southgate’s all-out attack plan fails
The match was almost equally balanced on both sides if only statistics were concerned. But the audience who sat through the game witnessed that the French attack was heavily marked by the opposing players, especially Mbappe and Oliver Giroud.
Southgate had promised an anti-Mbappe plan earlier in a pre-match interview that they had been preparing for over two years in advance.
And yet, they managed to pierce through the English defence on multiple occasions and scored in two. The English front won the battle of statistics, with more ball possession, more shots taken, more shots falling on target, etc. But the scoresheet told another tale.
Aurelien Tchouameni’s early goal with a fantastic assist from Griezmann in the 17th minute of the match boosted the confidence of the French team while also providing England with a lot of time to register a recovery. And the recovery did come in the form of Harry Kane’s penalty in the 54th minute, which the same Tchouameni gave away.
Oliver Giroud’s goal seals the deal for France
The equalizer from Kane’s penalty could not stop the world champion France because after multiple attempts at the goal, Oliver Giroud, the all-time top scorer for France, from netting a spectacular winning goal in the 78th minute of the match after a second assist from Griezmann. He was the lone striker for France, playing alone in the front in this match, with Mbappe falling back.
However, the winning moment for France came later and shockingly from Harry Kane, the English captain, after he failed to successfully convert the penalty into a goal, which could have been a lifeline for England. Paving the way for the world champions into the semi-finals
Despite further desperate attempts from the England front, the captain and goalkeeper of France, Hugo Lloris, stood like an iron wall in front of Harry Kane-led attacks on multiple playmaking occasions and ensured France’s victory.
The world champions will now face Morocco in their final dance to reach the 2022 FIFA World Cup Finale, where they’ll wage war against the team that has remained unbeaten throughout the tournament, drawing only once and beating the likes of Spain and Portugal.