Qatar 2022: Toothless Senegal lose their Pride to Three Lions as African Champions crash out of the World Cup

Senegal were the first African country to qualify for the round of 16, and now have become the first African side to exit the round of 16 after 3-0 loss to England

England showed a difference in class in a routine 3-0 win over Senegal

In the battle of the Lions at the Al Bayt Stadium, Senegal proved incapable of coping with England's mastery as the Three Lions easily bypassed the African champions to secure a tasty quarterfinal tie against defending champions, France.


The gulf in class between England and Senegal was glaring, as the Teranga Lions failed to make their counterparts in white leave first gear or even break a sweat. Goals from Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane, and Bukayo Saka were enough to send a clear message to fans and pundits about England's credentials going into the next round of the 2022 World Cup.

England's starting 11 had a major surprise upfront with Bukayo Saka coming back into the starting lineup replacing Marcus Rashford, who scored twice in England's last game against Wales. There was also a starting spot for Jordan Henderson and Manchester City's Phil Foden, who only started their first games against Wales.

Senegal were without the services of experienced midfielder Idrissa Gueye, who was suspended for the round of 16. In his place was AS Monaco's Krépin Diatta, who played out wide, allowing Ilman Ndiaye to play more centrally to replace the missing Gueye. Leicester City's Napalys Mendy also replaced Pape Gueye in the starting line up as one of Senegal's pivots.

England expectedly started the game on the front foot, looking to control possession with their midfield three of Henderson, Declan Rice, and Jude Bellingham, but it was Senegal who fashioned the first real chance of the opening half.

Ismaila Sarr missed one of Senegal's biggest chances, blazing over the bar from inside the six-yard box, before finding a gap in England's defence and playing Boulaye Dia through on goal, but the Salernitana forward could only watch as his shot was expertly stopped by Jordan Pickford.

England broke the deadlock in record-breaking fashion soon after Dia's miss, as Henderson swept home a brilliant assist from Jude Bellingham to make it 1-0.

Henderson's goal saw him become the second oldest goalscorer for England at the World Cup, while Bellingham's assist made him the youngest English player to assist a World Cup goal since 1966.

From then on, the Three Lions were in full control of the proceedings, and Harry Kane should have put them 2-0 up but fluffed his shot when he needed a cooler head. He would have his moment a few minutes later, as a slew of errors in the Senegalese defence left him one-on-one with Edouard Mendy. This time he made no mistake, ensuring that England entered half time with a two-goal lead.

With his goal, Kane (52) moved to within one goal of England's all-time goalscorer Wayne Rooney (53) and became the English player with the most goals at major tournaments with his 11th goal at a major tournament for his country.

The second half was a mere formality for both sides.

With a Saka goal to make it 3-0 after another brilliant assist from Foden before the hour mark, England ensured qualification to the next round and closed the game by starving the Teranga Lions of Senegal of possession of the ball.

The Senegalese were relegated to hopeful attempts at a consolation goal, firing 6 shots from outside the penalty area after England's third goal as their desperation to salvage some pride from the match grew.

They were unable to find the back of the net, however, and whimpered out of the 2022 World Cup knowing that they had lost to a far superior and more organised team than any other they have faced so far in Qatar.

England have now kept a clean sheet in three of their last four matches, winning the last two by three goals to nil. They will face their biggest test in the quarterfinal with France and Kylian Mbappe laying in wait for the Three Lions.

Senegal were always likely to struggle at the World Cup after being hampered by Sadio Mane's absence so they can still hold their head high, having lost to one of the best sides at the World Cup so far.


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