World Cup Sunday Recap: England, France dominant in Round of 16 to set up historic quarterfinal match between powerhouse nations

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Friedemann Vogel/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (13648665jc) Kylian Mbappe of France celebrates with teammate Ousmane Dembele (L) after scoring the 2-0 lead during the FIFA World Cup 2022 round of 16 soccer match between France and Poland at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, 04 December 2022. FIFA World Cup 2022 – Round of 16 France vs Poland, Doha, Qatar – 04 Dec 2022

World Cup Sunday Recap: England, France dominant in Round of 16 to set up historic quarterfinal match between powerhouse nations

Recapping the Sunday action: Kylian Mbappé reclaims spot as top goal-scorer in Qatar, while Harry Kane scores first goal of 2022

England 3, Senegal 0

  • What: World Cup, Round of 16
  • When: Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022 @ 1 p.m. CT
  • Where: Al Bayt Stadium (Al Khor, Qatar)
  • FIFA World Ranking: England (No. 5), Senegal (No. 18)

England erupted for two first-half goals to defeat Senegal and advance to the quarterfinals for the fourth time in its last six appearances after a decisive 3-0 victory at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, on Sunday. Jordan Henderson of Liverpool got the soon-to-be English party started in the 38th minute when he scored on an assist by Jude Bellingham to make it 1-0.

English star Harry Kane made it 2-0 right before the halftime break with his first goal at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar when he scored on an assist by Phil Foden in the third and final minute of first-half stoppage time. Senegal had a few quality chances early in the first half, but the longer the match continued, the more dominant the Three Lions looked on both sides of the ball. A goal by Bukayo Saka in the 57th minute – on Foden’s second assist of the game – gave England a seemingly insurmountable 3-0 lead. England manager Gareth made a surprising move by dropping Marcus Rashford from the starting lineup despite Rashboard being one of just six players in the group stage to score three goals. The move is evidence of England’s elite depth in attacking talent, however, and Rashford did reenter the pitch in the 70th minute to replace Saka, while Jack Grealish also came on with him to replace leading assist-man Foden.

England’s defense held the No. 18-ranked Senegalese to just one shot on goal for the duration of the match, although the Lions of Teranga were able to muster a total of 10 shots on goal (six of them outside the box, however, according to, which was two more than the winning English side. The two squads also finished with three corner kicks apiece despite England holding a solid edge in time possession (61% to 39%) and shots on goal (four to one).

No. 5-ranked England will now face No. 4-ranked France in the World Cup quarterfinals, a highly-anticipated match between powerhouse footballing nations set for 1 p.m. CT on Saturday, Dec. 10, at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar. England is 17-9-5 all-time against France, although the defending champion French have held a commanding edge between the two nations since the turn of the 21st century. France is 5-1-2 in the past eight meetings since 1999, with England registering just one win in 23 years via its 2-0 victory during an international friendly match in 2015. France won the last meeting between the two teams, a 3-2 international friendly match victory in June of 2017, while the last time the two sides played on the World Cup stage came all the way back in 1982, in Spain, when England defeated France 3-1.

France 3, Poland 1

  • What: World Cup, Round of 16
  • When: Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022 @ 10 a.m. CT
  • Where: Al Thumama Stadium (Doha, Qatar)
  • FIFA World Ranking: France (No. 4), Poland (No. 26)

France continued its 2018 World Cup title defense with a dominant 3-1 victory over Poland on Sunday at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar. The No. 4-ranked French were again led by 23-year-old superstar Kylian Mbappé of Paris Saint-Germain. Mbappé found the back of the net twice – once in the 74th minute on an assist from Ousmane Dembélé and his second on a gorgeous strike assisted by Marcus Thuram in the first minute of stoppage time.

With the two Round of 16 scores, Mbappé now reclaims the top spot as this World Cup’s leading goal scorer with five. France’s star forward had finished group play tied for first place with three goals alongside Álvaro Morata (Spain), Cody Gakpo (Netherlands), Marcus Rashford (England), and Enner Valencia (Ecuador), while Lionel Messi’s goal in the Round of 16 also temporarily moved the Argentine legend into a tie for first place before France’s match with Poland today.

Olivier Giroud scored the first goal of the day for France in historic fashion, as Giroud also now moves into first place all-time for the French national team with 52 career goals for Les Blues and ahead of the legendary Thierry Henry. Giroud’s score came on an assist from Mbappé in the 44th minute, which gave the defending champ French a 1-0 lead heading into halftime. France controlled time of possession for only 55% of the match, a far cry from previous group stage matches against Australia and Tunisia, but Poland never truly threatened for a score until very late in the contest despite tallying 12 total shots and three shots on goal.

France finished with the lead on total shots (16 to 12), shots on goal (eight to three) and corner kicks (seven to one) while keeping Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny busy on the day. Szczesny entered the Round of 16 as the tournament’s leader in total saves and added another five to his resume against France, but the offensive firepower of the Frenchmen, along with Mbappé’s savinness near the box, was too much to overcome for a Poland squad which was fortunate to get into the knockout stage after lackluster showing in Group C play. Poland doubled up France on the defensive end with 20 clearances, compared to just nine for Les Blues, as the French were both efficient and aggressive on their counters and overall attacks.

Poland’s lone goal of the contest came in the very last minute of stoppage time on the 99th minute, as Robert Lewandowski converted a penalty kick to give him his second-ever World Cup goal and possibly the last for the 34-year-old striker from Barcelona. Lewandowski’s score shortened the deficit to 3-1 and avoided a third shutout in four matches for the Polish White-Reds, who also went scoreless in a 0-0 draw with Mexico and a 2-0 loss to Argentina.

Round of 16/Knockout Stage Schedule

Sunday, Dec. 4

  • Who: France (No. 4) vs. Poland (No. 26)
  • When, where: 9 a.m. CT, Al Thumama Stadium (Doha, Qatar)
  • Who: England (No. 5) vs. Senegal (No. 18)
  • When, where: 1 p.m. CT, Al Bayt Stadium (Al Khor, Qatar)

Monday, Dec. 5

  • Who: Japan (No. 24) vs. Croatia (No. 12)
  • When, where: 9 a.m. CT, Al Janoub Stadium (Al Wakrah, Qatar)
  • Who: Brazil (No. 1) vs. South Korea (No. 28)
  • When, where: 1 p.m. CT, Stadium 974 (Doha, Qatar)

Tuesday, Dec. 6

  • Who: Morocco (No. 22) vs. Spain (No. 7)
  • When, where: 9 a.m. CT, Education City Stadium (Doha, Qatar)
  • Who: Portugal (No. 9) vs. Switzerland (No. 15)
  • When, where: 1 p.m. CT, Lusail Iconic Stadium (Lusail, Qatar)

Quarterfinals/Knockout Stage Schedule

Friday, Dec. 9

  • Who: Netherlands (No. 8) vs. Argentina (No. 3)
  • When, where: 1 p.m. CT, Lusail Iconic Stadium (Lusail, Qatar)

Saturday, Dec. 10

  • Who: England (No. 5) vs. France (No. 4)
  • When, where: 1 p.m. CT, Lusail Iconic Stadium (Lusail, Qatar)

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