England vs. Senegal ended 3-0 and the Three Lions are through to the quarter final

After a difficult start, England turned on the class to defeat Senegal 3-0 and advance to the 2022 World Cup quarterfinals.

The win sets up a mouth-watering game with France, who defeated Poland 3-1 earlier in the day, in the two European heavyweights’ first-ever knockout phase meeting at a World Cup.

“The ruthlessness of the performance was excellent,” Southgate said after the match. “Every match you play is a different sort of challenge and different tactical problem to resolve. We’ve stepped up and are answering those questions.

“The quality of the moves was outstanding and the finishing was ruthless.”

Jordan Henderson and captain Harry Kane both scored shortly before halftime to give England a 2-0 half-time lead against a Senegal side that had seemed completely capable of the assignment at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar.

Speedy Senegal striker Boulaye Dia, who looked threatening on the counter, came closest for the African side, forcing Jordan Pickford into a great one-handed save after England’s defense negligently gave the ball away just beyond the half-hour mark.

“Really tough. Knockout games are never easy,” said man of the match Kane. “We’ve shown great maturity through the tournament … 3-0 here against a really good side. Mentality was top from the beginning and we took our chances when they came.

“We feel good, we’ve got good players getting forward and we’re solid at the back. A really good day for us.”

Henderson calmed England’s fears in the 38th minute, slotting the ball home after Jude Bellingham slipped him in at the finish of a wonderful passing move.

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Kane’s fierce strike past goalkeeper Edouard Mendy with the final ball of the first half put him one goal below Wayne Rooney’s England record of 53 goals.

Senegal manager Aliou Cisse made substitutions at halftime, but to no avail, as Bukayo Saka put England three up in the 57th minute, deftly deflecting Phil Foden’s cross into the 6-yard box over the outstretched arms of Mendy.

“We toiled for years to be African champions, but suddenly we were up against one of the best five teams in the world, and I believe you witnessed the difference tonight,” Cisse remarked. “We were playing a very excellent England side, as evidenced by the challenges and physical strength.”

“Plus we weren’t as good as we should have been.”

Saka’s strike took England’s total goals thus far in Qatar to 12 — level with the country’s World Cup record number scored in reaching the semifinals in Russia — as the Three Lions saw out the match at a canter.

“We all want to play in the biggest games and no better game than playing France,” Foden said. “On our best game we can create chances and score, were looking forward to what’s going to be a big challenge.”

Chelsea winger Raheem Sterling, who had started England’s first two matches, was left out of the squad entirely to deal with what the FA described as a “family matter.”

The victory extended England’s undefeated streak against African nations to 21 games, including eight World Cup appearances. Morocco is the only African team remaining in the competition, and they face Spain on Tuesday.

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Senegal’s midfield was too feeble to pose a threat to England in the absence of banned Idrissa Gueye and injured Cheikhou Kouyate.

Senegal lacked a cutting edge to trouble an England defense that kept a third consecutive World Cup clean sheet for the first time in 20 years, with Sadio Mane out due to injury.

“I said throughout the tournament his absence was a blow to us. It is tough when you lose a player like that,” Cisse added.

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