ENGLAND set up a mouthwatering World Cup quarter-final against reigning champions France as Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka struck against Senegal.
Playing in their first knockout match on the world stage since the agonising extra-time 2018 semi-final loss to Croatia, Gareth Southgate’s men showed their quality to progress in Qatar.
Kane became England’s highest ever scorer at major tournaments after Henderson opened the scoring, with Saka superbly wrapping up a comfortable 3-0 win against Senegal in Sunday’s last-16 contest at Al Bayt Stadium.
The reward is a return to Al Khor for a crunch clash against France next Saturday as last year’s European Championship runners-up take on the World Cup holders.
Southgate’s side will need to take their performance up a level given some of the problems Africa Cup of Nations winners Senegal were able to cause in a first half that ended with a quickfire England double.
Henderson was the unlikely man to open the scoring when coolly directing in the cutback from Jude Bellingham, who played a key role as England also scored with the final kick of the first half.
The 19-year-old led a brilliant breakaway that ended with Phil Foden playing on to 2018 Golden Boot winner Kane, who slammed home his first goal in Qatar to become the side’s eighth different goalscorer.
Saka joined Marcus Rashford – the man he replaced in the starting line-up on Sunday – on three goals at this World Cup and ended the contest when he delicately clipped the ball over Edouard Mendy early in the second half.
England were in cruise control from that point and Southgate rung the changes with progress assured to consecutive World Cup quarter-finals – something the national team last managed in 2002 and 2006.
FANS IN DREAMLAND
Ecstatic England fans were left dreaming of World Cup glory after another comprehensive 3-0 win set up a quarter-final clash with holders France.
Despite a cagey opening 30 minutes against Senegal on Sunday, Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson calmed any England fears before Harry Kane’s goal on the stroke of half time saw beers and Santa hats thrown to the skies at fan parks across the nation.
A composed second-half Bukayo Saka finish rounded off another professional display, prompting a chorus of “football’s coming home” at the Croydon Boxpark in south London.