England overcame a tense start to secure a 3-0 victory over Senegal in Qatar, to set up a highly-anticipated World Cup quarter-final clash with France.
It was not as easy as the scoreline suggested, with the African champions looking to make a statement in the opening stages of the game.
Things were looking somewhat tricky for the favourites, but against the order of play, Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham combined, with the latter cutting the ball back for Jordan Henderson to finish and calm the nerves with the Europeans in front.
That was 38 minutes in and all nerves were surely made calm when Gareth Southgate’s men doubled their lead in first half stoppage time via Harry Kane, with the Tottenham man bagging his first goal of the tournament.
The second half was more of a calm affair for England, with Senegal not really able to pressure their opponents and create a nervy finish. Senegal goalkeeper Edouard Mendy had a day to forget and the game was put beyond doubt in the 57th minute when Arsenal star Bukayo Saka scored the third.
Brilliant work from Phil Foden on the left saw him cross an excellent ball which Saka cleverly flicked over Edouard Mendy to score his third of the competition and more or less secure qualification for the Three Lions.
It was also a positive for Gareth Southgate in the sense that England happened to go through the match without sustaining any injuries, while they have also kept up their impressive record of not receiving a yellow card at all this tournament.
Following their 3-0 win over Senegal, the victory means England are the only European nation to make it to the quarter-finals in each of the last three major tournaments: 2018 World Cup: Semi-final 2020 Euros: and 2022 World Cup.
However, they have bigger fish to fry and will face arguably their biggest test of the tournament in the form of holders France for their quarterfinal fixture. It is also the first time in men's World Cup history that England will face France in the knockout stages.
England now have five days off before the mouth-watering clash with France on Saturday in the same arena – the Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – for a place in the semi-finals.
Many believe the winner of that tie could go on to win the tournament but we’ll have to wait and see how that goes.