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England reaches World Cup quarterfinals, beats Senegal 3-0


Nepalnews
AP
2022 Dec 05, 11:17, Qatar
England's Harry Kane, left, scores during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between England and Senegal, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. (AP Photo)

Like all great strikers, Harry Kane’s timing was perfect.

The England captain got off the mark Sunday, scoring his first goal at this year’s World Cup in a 3-0 victory over Senegal that set up a must-see match against France in the quarterfinals.

It certainly was a good time for Kane to end his dry spell in Qatar because Kylian Mbappe, the tournament’s leading scorer with five goals, is waiting to face England on Saturday at Al Bayt Stadium.

With that in mind, England could do with its most prolific striker at his sharpest.

Kane scored six goals at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, each one helping England reach the semifinals. But it has been harder this time around, with the captain having to wait until first-half stoppage time against Senegal to finally get one.

When the moment came, he never looked like missing. Head down, he powered a shot past Senegal goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to put England ahead 2-0. Then, arms spread wide, the relief poured out as he ran away in celebration.

It was Kane’s 52nd goal for England, moving him within one of Wayne Rooney’s national record. He also overtook Gary Lineker as his country’s leading scorer in major tournaments with 11 goals.

England's Jordan Henderson celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between England and Senegal, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. (AP Photo)
England's Jordan Henderson celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between England and Senegal, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. (AP Photo)

England’s great strength at this year’s World Cup has been the amount of different goal threats it has, and another emerged on Sunday when Jordan Henderson gave his team the lead. Bukayo Saka completed the scoring with his third of the tournament.

Marcus Rashford, who has also scored three goals in Qatar, didn’t even make the starting lineup.

Jude Bellingham is also one of England’s goal scorers, but his game is about so much more. He proved that with a dominant midfield performance against Senegal.

Up to then, Senegal had been creating the more dangerous chances. But everything changed once Bellingham seized control, charging into the box to set up Henderson before starting the move that led to Kane’s goal.

England's Bukayo Saka, right, celebrates with teammates after scoring during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between England and Senegal, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. (AP Photo)
England's Bukayo Saka, right, celebrates with teammates after scoring during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between England and Senegal, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. (AP Photo)

STAYING POWER

The match was played to the beat of the Senegal fans’ drums, which provided the soundtrack from start to finish. England’s fans struggled to be heard over the noise — even when the result was beyond doubt.

STERLING WAIT

Raheem Sterling was ruled out before the match started because of a “family matter” and is on his way back to England. There was no indication if or when he would be able to return.

RECORD SET

Bellingham became the youngest England player to provide an assist at a World Cup.

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England World Cup quarterfinals Senegal Harry Kane Al Bayt Stadium
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