England Head Home After Kane Missed A Late Penalty

By Rashmi Goel

Following a 2-1 loss to France, England has been eliminated from the World Cup. It was a decent performance by England’s team in their quarterfinal against the 2018 champions, but Harry Kane's missed penalty ultimately proved costly. The game was opened by Aurélien Tchouameni before Kane equalized from the spot, but Olivier Giroud, who scored from close range, had the last laugh. On the verge of beating England again, Mason Mount won a penalty, but Kane, on the verge of breaking Rooney's record, blasted over the bar. The outcome of the match was heartbreaking, and England will leave another tournament after another disappointing performance. Despite the fact that they handled Kylian Mbappe well, played a back four, and Bukayo Saka was outstanding, it was not enough to win.

It is worth mentioning that both Southgate and Deschamps started their respective teams with the same personnel. After Luke Shaw dived into a challenge, Olivier Giroud had the first chance to score with a header after he had a header on target. England struggled to find the right balance in this game. When it came right down to it, they went for it and were undone. It was only after 16 minutes that France broke as England ventured forward for the first time, with Aurélien Tchouameni finding space near the edge of the box and firing a shot into the bottom corner from range from a distance after 16 minutes. A foul was claimed on Bukayo Saka, but to no avail, and England's frustration continued throughout the first half. Initially, Luke Shaw's free-kick went straight at Hugo Lloris. However, Harry Kane's movement led to a chance for Lloris to save the goal. Then the big moment. A clear knockdown was awarded to Kane right inside the box by Dayot Upamecano, but no action was taken by the referee and VAR failed to intervene. The flow of the game could have been changed at that moment.

In the second half, England kept pushing and Kane had a shot parried, but France looked dangerous when Mbappe had a header blocked following a clever free-kick. The first half was close, but England went into the break ahead and the stats suggested that the game was over. In contrast, England had never won a World Cup match when they were losing at halftime, while France had won 24 of their 25 World Cup matches when they were leading at halftime. In the second half, Bellingham hit a wonderful half-volley that Lloris tipped over before Saka broke into the box and was tripped by Tchouameni. In a decisive moment, Kane stepped up and fired the ball past his teammate Lloris into the top left corner of the goal. It was the goal England deserved after a promising start to the half. It was Rabiot who struck the goal that Pickford had to be alert to as England went to sleep at the back. As Saka drove into the box, he fired a right-footed shot that was too weak to trouble Lloris, but the Arsenal player was causing problems for the French goalkeeper. Kane once again failed to hit the target before the referee further irked the English contingent by failing to award Saka another obvious foul.

As England continued to create better chances, Jordan Henderson delivered a wonderful free kick that just shaved the post. During the attack, Shaw crossed for Saka, who missed his chance with a right-footed shot. After that, France underwent a major change. Ousmane Dembele won a header at the back post and Giroud was there to volley it but Pickford reacted to palm it clear. There followed a devastating blow. A wonderful cross from Griezmann was headed home by the striker at the height of his abilities. Theo Hernandez shoved Mason Mount over in the box shortly after he was substituted. Once again, Kane proved his worth thanks to a VAR review. However, this time he went over the mark with Wayne Rooney's record in sight. The tournament came to a devastating end with utter heartbreak.

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