With a 3-0 victory over Senegal on Sunday, sparked by a masterful performance by Jude Bellingham, England advanced to face the tournament’s current champions in a must-win quarterfinal. England beat Senegal to face France in the quarterfinals.
After a tense first half at the Al Bayt Stadium, Gareth Southgate’s squad dominated Senegal with goals from Jordan Henderson and Harry Kane. England’s third goal came from Bukayo Saka. But it was Bellingham’s incredible work rate and growing quality with the ball that ultimately proved decisive.
England beat Senegal to face France in the quarterfinals
Bellingham assisted on Henderson’s first goal, and the Borussia Dortmund midfielder was also instrumental in England’s opening goal, scored by captain Harry Kane. With his eleventh goal at a major tournament, Kane has surpassed Gary Lineker as England’s all-time leading scorer at major events.
But at only 19, Bellingham has emerged as England’s driving force. He made his international debut with an assist in England’s 6-2 thumping of Iran in their opening group stage game, making him the youngest player to record an assist in a World Cup knockout stage game since 1966.
Two years after debuting in the English second division with Birmingham, the young Bellingham showed no nerves in the greatest game of his life against Senegal. If England hopes to get past the quarterfinals in Qatar, they will need Bellingham to have another dominant effort. With France having dispatched Poland 3-1 on Sunday, England will travel to the Al Khor desert on Saturday to take on the red-hot Kylian Mbappe and company, hoping to advance to a third consecutive major event semi-final.
The runner-up at Euro 2020 England’s chances of winning a major title for the first time in 56 years is significantly hampered by France, against whom they have won just one of their last eight matches. We have an embarrassment of resources in all areas of the pitch,” Southgate said, justifying his decision to bench Marcus Rashford in favor of Granit Xhaka despite the forward’s two-goal performance against Wales. After a shaky start in which they passed too slowly and were apprehensive at the back, England hit their groove and demonstrated why Southgate is so confident in them.