England sailed through to the quarter-finals of the 2022 World Cup after beating Senegal 3-0 at the Al Khor stadium in Qatar.
Goals from Jordan Henderson, Bukayo Saka and Harry Kane sealed England’s fate. They now gear up to face France next Saturday.
Starting XI – changes and consistency
Gareth Southgate made just one change to the starting XI that won 3-0 against Wales earlier in the week. Marcus Rashford was replaced by Saka. Elsewhere, Raheem Sterling was unavailable for squad selection due to family issues.
Senegal made two changes to the team that beat Ecuador earlier in the week. Idrissa Gueye was replaced by Leicester City’s Nampalys Mendy, while Pape Gueye was swapped for Krepin Diatta.
The first half: Senegal presses early, England finds the net
The first-ever international meeting between England and Senegal started with the former taking the knee before the latter kicked off.
Straight away, a break in the fourth minute saw Senegal challenging the England defence. Harry Maguire and John Stones gave chase to Boulaye Dia, who (luckily for England) couldn’t line up his final touch correctly.
England vs Senegal saw its first corner in the 21st minute. Phil Foden swung it in beautifully, but Stones put too much pressure on his header, sending it over the Senegal crossbar.
Stones’ attempt is the second-longest wait for the first shot in a World Cup 2022 match. The first being France vs Tunisia, which took 25 minutes.
In the 23rd and 31st minutes, England had another couple of scares. Firstly Ismaila Sarr’s ball went over the top of the goal.
However, the second Senegal chance was even closer. Saka misplaced a crucial pass that allowed Sarr to fire it over to Dia. Much like his first shot in the fourth, he failed to slot it home. Instead, the ball clipped Jordan Pickford’s glove.
Jude Bellingham and Jordan Henderson open the scoreline
Despite Senegal’s trio of efforts, it was England who ended up opening the scoreline. Jude Bellingham slid the ball to Henderson, who popped it past Edouard Mendy to see England lead 1-0.
This marks Bellingham as the first English teenager to assist in a World Cup knockout stage game since 1966. Some feat!
In succession, captain Kane put a shot just a little too wide of the goal in the 41st minute. Declan Rice broke down the right-hand side in the 45th but failed to capitalise.
Two extra minutes were added to the England vs Senegal first half, which was just long enough for Kane to redeem himself and score his first goal of the 2022 World Cup.
Bellingham fired through to Foden, who took advantage of an unmarked Kane, sending England down the tunnel at halftime 2-0 up.
Second half: Domination with the quarter-finals in sight
Senegal’s head coach, Aliou Cisse, made a triple substitution at the break. Pathe Ciss, Iliman Ndiaye and Krepin Diatta all made way for Bamba Dieng, Gueye and Pape Matar Sarr.
However, the Senegalese change wasn’t enough to stop England from scoring a third goal.
Foden sprinted down the left-hand side before firing it to the feet of Saka, who then lifted it over Mendy. It would go on to be the final goal of the game – and what a phenomenal one it was at that!
@bukayosaka87 My World Cup so far ⚽???????? #fifaworldcup #England #saka ♬ original sound – Bukayo Saka
Following the Saka-Foden linkup, both were subbed out in the 65th minute.
Southgate swapped Foden for Jack Grealish while Saka was rested for Rashford. The England vs Senegal game marked Rashford’s 50th appearance for England.
72 minutes in, Senegal made another change as Dia was swapped for Famara Diedhiou. Two minutes later, Senegal had a chance skewed wide – one of their last real attempts to grab some glory.
They were then served the first and only yellow card of the game. Captain Kalidou Koulibaly was booked for shoving Kane to the ground.
The 76th saw a double change for England. Bellingham was swapped for Chelsea’s Mason Mount, while Stones made way for Eric Dier. The 82nd also saw goalscorer Henderson being swapped for Kalvin Philips.
In quick succession, Ismail Jakobs was moved to the Senegal bench, with Fode Ballo-Toure replacing him. However, the late substitution and an extra five minutes of added time weren’t enough for Senegal to get one past England.
What’s next for England in the 2022 World Cup?
The final whistle blew on England vs Senegal, sealing the Three Liones’ place in the World Cup quarter-finals. They will now face France and the full force of Kylian Mbappe on Saturday, December 10 2022.
Senegal will now gear up for the Group stage of the African Nations Championship in January 2023. They have been sorted into a group with Ivory Coast, Uganda and DR Congo.
The final score of the England vs Senegal match was 3-0.
Featured image credit:Markus Gilliar / Getty Images