Today at the World Cup: England and France advance, Neymar gears up for return

Today at the World Cup: England and France advance, Neymar gears up for return

By PA Sport Staff

England set up a World Cup quarter-final against defending champions France as Gareth Southgate’s men saw off Senegal 3-0, with Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka getting on the scoresheet.

Les Bleus had earlier secured their place in the next round with a 3-1 victory over Poland lit up by Kylian Mbappe, who scored two goals and set up another.

Here, we look at how the second day of last-16 action in Qatar unfolded.

England advance


Kane doubles England's advantage against Senegal (Nick Potts/PA).
Kane doubles England’s advantage against Senegal (Nick Potts/PA)

The first half at the Al Bayt Stadium was a nervy affair for England fans until Henderson opened the scoring in the 38th minute, firing past Edouard Mendy from Jude Bellingham’s low cross.

England subsequently doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time, Bellingham leading a charge out of defence before sliding in Phil Foden, who fed Kane for the skipper’s first goal of the tournament and 52nd for the team – putting him one behind all-time record scorer Wayne Rooney.


Saka then made it 3-0 with his third of the competition just before the hour mark, Foden once again providing the assist.

Sterling absent

Raheem Sterling was missing from the England squad, with a message on the team’s official Twitter account saying it was due to the Chelsea winger “dealing with a family issue”.

Southgate told ITV1: “He’s dealing with a family matter so I had quite a bit of time with him this morning but I’ve now had to pass that on to other people to help him with that.”

The England boss later confirmed the 27-year-old was heading home.

Marvel Mbappe

The day’s earlier contest saw Mbappe continue his supreme form in Qatar as France proved too strong for Poland at Al Thumama Stadium.

Didier Deschamps’ side took the lead just before the break when Mbappe teed up a strike for Olivier Giroud that made him Les Bleus’ outright top goalscorer with 52 goals, moving ahead of Thierry Henry.

Mbappe then registered his fourth and fifth goals of the tournament in the 74th minute and stoppage time, before Robert Lewandowski netted a consolation for Poland with a late penalty.

Neymar to return?

Neymar in action for Brazil (Nick Potts/PA).
Neymar has been sidelined by an ankle injury (Nick Potts/PA)

Brazil play their last-16 tie against South Korea on Monday and Mbappe’s Paris St Germain team-mate Neymar could make his return to action, with national boss Tite saying the 30-year-old – absent for group games against Switzerland and Cameroon due to an ankle injury – would play if he trained on Sunday afternoon.

Tite also launched a scathing attack on his “haters” for spreading fake news regarding the fitness of Gabriel Jesus, who has been ruled out of the rest of the tournament by a knee problem sustained against Cameroon.

Asked if Jesus already had an issue with his knee prior to the World Cup, Tite replied: “Thank you very much for your question because I don’t like hearing lies out there, evil lies. Those are the people who want to do bad things for others.”

Japan seek warrior spirit

Yuto Nagatomo (right) in action for Japan in their win against Spain (Martin Rickett/PA).
Yuto Nagatomo (right) in action for Japan in their win against Spain (Martin Rickett/PA).

Japan’s Yuto Nagatomo has called on his team-mates to evoke the ‘Samurai spirit’ as they aim to overcome 2018’s beaten finalists Croatia and book a place in the World Cup quarter-finals for the first time in their history.

The defender said: “I think this is a great opportunity for us to show the world how we can fight like Samurai. Before they go into battle they polish their weapons and try to improve their techniques, but if they are scared during battle, they would not be able to use those weapons and techniques fully.”

Picture of the day

Harry Kane celebrates scoring England’s second goal (Martin Rickett/PA).
Harry Kane celebrates scoring England’s second goal (Martin Rickett/PA)

Tweet of the day

Who’s up next?

Last 16

Japan v Croatia (3pm, RTÉ 2)

Brazil v South Korea (7pm, RTÉ 2)