France continues its journey in this World Cup. The Tricolores won their duel against England and take their ticket for the semi-finals. They will face Morocco next Wednesday at 19 hours (GMT).
Kyle Walker will have succeeded in his bet to neutralize Kylian Mbappé except that it wasn’t enough for England. The Three Lions have indeed suffered the law of the ultra realistic Blues (2-1) in this last quarterfinal of the Qatar World Cup. Aurélien Tchouaméni and Olivier Giroud were the heroes of the world champions. On the English side, Harry Kane, scorer, missed the equalizer at the 84th minute of the game. The Tricolores will face Morocco in the semi-finals.
Didier Deschamps and France had a plan against England: to pack the match from the start to make the opponent fold quickly. The strategy worked rather well. Indeed, the world champions have succeeded in a good start of the game. Technically upright, with a lot of speed in the transitions combined with a great activity of their midfielders, the French showed themselves superior to the Three Lions in the first part of the match.
Their desire and determination were soon rewarded. After a first alert from Olivier Giroud (11th) with a header taken a little backwards to worry Pickford, it is Aurélien Tchouaméni who definitively launched his team. Following a supersonic counter-attack initiated by Dayot Upamecano, the young Madrid midfielder, well served by Antoine Griezmann, unleashed a shot that was as powerful as it was sudden, beating the English keeper (19th).
The English tried to react quickly. They even thought they had a penalty after a foul on Harry Kane in the box. But neither the referee nor Var flinched. Far from having said his last word, the captain of England illustrates himself a few minutes later with a beautiful shot (28th) which forces Hugo Lloris to spread out to push the ball in corner.
The English “plagiarize” the French plan
In the second half, Gareth Southgate’s men adopted the French plan. They put the turbo on as soon as they came back from the break. And like the French in the first half, they were also rewarded for their rise to power. On an offensive, Saka is mowed down in the box by Aurélien Tchouaméni. This time the referee didn’t hesitate and pointed to the penalty spot. Harry Kane won his duel with his club teammate Hugo Lloris. And allows England to come back to the score (54th).
Behind, the Three Lions put the foot on the gas pedal and multiply the attacks. But the Tricolores resisted well and even managed to go back in front of the scoreboard. Well served by Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud overtook Maguire and finished with a header (2-1, 79th). It is the fourth goal of the Milan striker in the competition.
But the English did not give up and went back on the attack. They even obtain a new penalty after a foul of Hernandez on Mason Mount. But this time Harry Kane hit over the crossbar and lost his duel with his club captain. The score will not move any more. France validates its ticket for the semi-finals and will face Morocco next Wednesday.