Qatar World Cup: England knocked out after quarter-final defeat to holders France | UK News

England’s World Cup dream lies in tatters after being knocked out by holders France in their quarter-final clash.

Having reached the semi-finals in 2018 and then finishing runners-up at last year’s European Championship, Gareth Southgate’s men were confident of a ticket to the semi-final.

Despite going behind to an early first-half goal, England pulled level through a Harry Kane penalty but Olivier Giroud put the French back in front.

Kane had a further chance to equalise from the penalty spot but blazed over the bar, and England crashed out 2-1.

Southgate was asked after the game whether he felt his players deserved more, and he told ITV: “I think the performance did but in the end goals are decisive.

“I don’t think they could have given any more. They have played really well against a top team.”

He refused to condemn England captain Kane for his penalty miss, saying: “For me, we win and lose as a team.

“We have let a couple of goals in and missed a few chances.

“He has been incredible for us and is so reliable for us in those situations.

“We wouldn’t be here but for the number of goals he has scored for us.”

France took the lead in the 16th minute when Aurélien Tchouaméni struck a fierce shot through the legs of Jude Bellingham and beyond the dive of Jordan Pickford.

England's goalkeeper Jordan Pickford fails to stop a shot on goal by France's Aurelien Tchouameni who scored his side's first goal during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between England and France, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
England’s goalkeeper Jordan Pickford fails to stop a shot on goal by France’s Aurelien Tchouameni. Pic: AP
Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Quarter Final - England v France - Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor, Qatar - December 10, 2022 England's Harry Kane celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

England claimed Bukayo Saka was fouled in the build-up but despite the protests, the goal was allowed to stand.

And shortly after there were strong claims for an England penalty when Kane went down under a challenge on the edge of the area but after a VAR check, play was waved on.

England seemed to take back control in the second-half and in the 51st minute Saka burst into the box and was brought down, with the referee instantly giving a penalty.

Kane lashed it into the top corner to bring the Three Lions level and equal Wayne Rooney’s record as England’s all-time top scorer.

But in the 78th minute Giroud beat Harry Maguire in the air to power a header beyond Pickford from Antoine Griezmann’s cross.

France will now go on to play Morocco, after the Atlas Lions’ victory over Portugal on Saturday afternoon.