England lived up to their role as favorites in the World Cup round of 16 against Senegal. The “Three Lions” prevailed 3-0 on Sunday at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor thanks to goals from Jordan Henderson (38′), captain Harry Kane (45’+3′) and Bukayo Saka (57′). The runner-up European champion remained unbeaten in the 21st duel with an African team and will face France in the quarter-finals on Saturday. The defending champion had defeated Poland 3-1.

Kane ended his goal drought at the best time in front of 65,985 spectators. The 2018 World Cup top scorer scored for the eleventh time (7 World Cups, 4 European Championships) in a major event, making him the sole English number one. Previously, the 29-year-old Tottenham striker shared the record with Gary Lineker. Saka scored for the third time of the tournament following his brace against Iran, putting him second in the scoring list behind Kylian Mbappe (5) with a number of other players including his compatriot Marcus Rashford.

Two changes to Senegal

The England side, coached by Gareth Southgate, were without striker Raheem Sterling for “family reasons”. Phil Foden replaced him on the left offensive side, with Kane and Saka attacking alongside. The three-time Qatar World Cup goalscorer Rashford, on the other hand, was only on the bench. Senegal made two changes from their 2-1 win over Ecuador in their last group game. In midfield, Leicester City’s Nampalys Mendy and AS Monaco’s Krépin Diatta replaced the suspended Idrissa Gueye and Pape Gueye.

From the start, the outsider was only concerned with closing the gap at the back. The English let the ball run in their own ranks, but initially without being able to capitalize on it. A decisive deep pass or finish was completely missing for a long time. At the other end, Ismaila Sarr almost scored out of nowhere but shot over it (22′). Ten minutes later, after assisting Sarr, Boulaye Dia was denied by England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. It was the best phase for the Africans, who suddenly had more faith in themselves, which, however, ultimately went haywire.

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The first nice action by the English was immediately successful. As so often, they combined from the left forward and after a pass from the outstanding Jude Bellingham, Henderson completed the ball in the middle from around eleven meters. This got the offensive work of the favorite going. Kane didn’t hit the ball properly after Saka crossed it in (41′), Luke Shaw hesitated too long (43′). The preliminary decision was still made before the change of sides after a counterattack. Bellingham fought for the ball in his own half, served Foden and his pass was safely converted by Kane this time from the best position.

Before the third goal, Foden had his legs in the game again. This time he passed the middle to Saka, who also coldly converted. Senegal couldn’t do better, not even the goal was in the air. It was obvious that superstar Sadio Mane, who had been injured before the finals, was absent. As a result, the African champions, who were victorious in the group stage after a 2-0 defeat against the Netherlands against hosts Qatar (3-1) and Ecuador (2-1), failed to reach the round of the last again 20 years after reaching the quarter-finals of the World Cup advance eight.

England, on the other hand, are still on track, after three wins and a draw they have a goal difference of 12:2. If you want to at least get as far as 2018, where you were fourth, Mbappe and Co. must now be cleared out of the way. A mammoth task.

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