With France through to the quarterfinal of the half England belongs to, the Three Lions knew they needed a superb performance to match if they were to qualify for the next round of knockout stages in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Things turned out the way many would have expected, with the English players firing from all cylinders to blank Senegal 3-0 and help their country cruise into a clash with Les Bleus.
Bellingham an Absolute Gem
Many have tipped Borussia Dortmund’s 19-year-old midfielder Jude Bellingham to shine bright in this year’s World Cup, since his club form has been fantastic (9 goals and 3 assists in 22 games in all competitions) and England’s main choices of midfielders are either too old or injured. But little did they know the teenage awe will make the World Cup look easy.
After surviving early scares from the African side in the first half an hour, England made a breakthrough via a patient build up that started from the back. Jude Bellingham ran into the left wing and sent a pitch-perfect cross into the left foot of Jordan Henderson’s for the Liverpool captain to score only his third goal for his country. The Stourbridge-born star then made the most out of Senegal’s loose ball and destroyed their midfield before passing to the out-wide Phil Foden, who fed the ball to the unmarked England captain Harry Kane to score his first goal of the tournament. England’s third and final goal of the game came in the 57th minute and was kickstarted with a similar fashion like the first from the left side of the field, with Phil Foden delivering a cross for Bukayo Saka to score his third goal of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Harry Kane Is Two Goals Away from Wayne Rooney’s Record
The Tottenham Hotspur’s talisman was the 2018 FIFA World Cup top scorer with 6 goals and last night’s strike was his 52nd for his country, putting him only two goals shy from breaking former Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney’s all-time goal scoring record for England that stood since 2018. Many are wondering if Kane is going through similar scenarios like the 2020 UEFA European Championship as he did not score in the competition until the knockout stage and ended with four goals in the Three Lions’ glorious run to a first runner-up finish in the history of the tournament.
Three Lions vs Les Bleus
England will face defending world champion France next, which defeated their European peer Poland with a 3-1 victory via a Kylian Mbappé double and Olivier Giroud’s record breaking goal. The head-to-head history between the two sides the Three Lions as they have beaten Les Bleus 17 times and drawn 5 times in 31 meetings. Both teams have not met in any competitions for more than five years now, which means the record might not be a relevant reference. But one thing is certain, both England and France had scored 12 and 9 goals in their respective four matches, a sign that we will be showered with goals and superb attacks during their clash on Sunday.
(Photo Credits: Sky News)