England produced a clinical performance to eliminate Senegal from the World Cup in Qatar last night and set up a blockbuster quarter-final against holders France.
Gareth Southgate’s team overcame some early jitters with two first-half goals crafted by Jude Bellingham and finished by Jordan Henderson and captain Harry Kane.
Bukayo Saka added a third after half-time to end any resistance from the African champions and confirm England’s place in the last eight, where they will face France on Saturday night.
England started the brighter at the Al Bayt Stadium, with Bellingham and Kane both sending in dangerous crosses that evaded goalkeeper Edouard Mendy but couldn’t find a white shirt.
Senegal’s constant harrying forced mistakes, however, and a misplaced pass from Harry Maguire led to Ismaila Sarr firing just over from close range, after John Stones had blocked Boulaye Dia’s shot.
Moments later they went even closer to taking the lead, when Bukayo Saka gave the ball away, Sarr fed Dia and the striker’s powerful shot from a tight angle was repelled by goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
England broke the deadlock against the run of play in the 39th minute when Bellingham burst into the Senegal penalty area and cut the ball back for Henderson to guide a first-time shot low past Mendy.
With their opponents suddenly ragged, they capitalised again in first-half injury time with Bellingham to the fore once more. He charged from the edge of his own box and into the Senegal half before feeding Foden, who squared the ball for Kane to smash home.
England effectively killed the contest in the 57th minute when Foden scampered down the left and crossed low for Saka to dink a finish over Mendy.
One blemish on Southgate’s night was the absence of Raheem Sterling due to a family matter which the manager said there was no certainty he would resolve and return to the squad.