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Sunday 29 January 2023 Dublin: 5ยฐC
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AS IT HAPPENED
As it happened: England v Senegal, World Cup Round of 16
England faced Senegal as Gareth Southgate’s men aimed to book their spot in the quarter-finals.

England 3-0 Senegal

Hello, and welcome to tonight’s liveblog.

England and Senegal meet for a place in the quarter-finals against France.

Gareth Southgate’s men are strong favourites to progress.

They looked relatively solid in the group stages despite a minor hiccup against USA, and have better individual players than tonight’s opponents.

The Three Lions will have to cope without Raheem Sterling and Ben White, who both miss out due to personal matters, while Senegal are without two of their best players –the suspended Idrissa Gueye and the injured Sadio Mane.

Nonetheless, the reigning African champions will be hopeful of pulling off an upset and repeating the feats of the heroes of 2002 who overcame then-reigning champions France on their way to an unlikely quarter-final spot.

Senegal haven’t had it easy so far, needing a hard-fought win in their final group game against Ecuador, following an opening defeat to the Netherlands.

Kick-off is at 7pm Irish time.

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We’re underway…

It’s been a fairly scrappy, uneventful opening.

Neither side has looked particularly dominant.

Dia latches on to Ciss’ through ball.

The attacker gets in between England’s two centre-backs, but he doesn’t get his shot away quickly enough, loses control of it and it rolls safely into Pickford’s arms.

Walker picks out Rice inside the area, but the West Ham man’s cross is cleared.

Moments later, Saka almost dispossesses Diallo, but it’s eventually cleared.

England are beginning to assert control with Senegal living dangerously at the moment.

England are dominating possession — Senegal have had just 25% of the ball according to RTÉ.

As I type, Kane puts a great cross into the box but Saka can’t quite get on the end of it.

There’s only one side that looks like scoring as it stands.

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A slightly worrying moment for England.

Ndiaye beats Maguire for pace, but he can’t control the ball properly, allowing England to avert the danger.

That’ll be an interesting one-on-one battle worth keeping an eye on.

One of England’s biggest strengths under Southgate has been their set pieces, but not on this occasion.

Foden’s ball in comes off Stones’ shoulder and goes well off target.

There was a penalty check there as a goalbound effort hit off Stones’ arm.

However, play continues, so the handball was ostensibly adjudged accidental.

Harry Maguire is looking a little nervous.

He’s given it away twice in dangerous positions of late.

After a decent opening, England have looked out of sorts in recent minutes.

Some simple passes are going astray.

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Big chance!

Sarr slips through Dia, whose powerful shot forces Pickford into a good save.

Senegal have really grown into the game and are the better team at the moment.

assistant-referee-kathryn-nesbitt-looks-on-as-senegals-iliman-ndiaye-and-englands-harry-maguire-battle-for-the-ball-during-the-fifa-world-cup-round-of-sixteen-match-at-the-al-bayt-stadium-in-al-khor Alamy Stock Photo Assistant referee Kathryn Nesbitt looks on as Senegal's Iliman Ndiaye and England's Harry Maguire battle for the ball. Alamy Stock Photo

ENGLAND 1-0 SENEGAL (HENDERSON 38)

Against the run of play, England lead.

It’s a really well-worked move.

Bellingham breaks forward and is found by Kane.

The Dortmund star pulls it back across the box for the onrushing Henderson to slot home.

Saka’s low cross finds Kane, but the Tottenham star fails to properly connect with his first-time finish and hits it well over.

All of a sudden, Senegal are on the ropes and could do with the half-time whistle.

Senegal give it away cheaply in a dangerous area allowing Bellingham to play through Shaw.

However, the Man United defender hesitates in taking the shot and eventually, the angle is against him and his attempt is deflected out for a corner.

Rice bursts forward but Koulibaly does well to cut out the low cross for a corner.

It’s amazing how dramatically the goal has changed this game — England are now the team who look full of confidence.

ENGLAND 2-0 SENEGAL (KANE 45)

HALF-TIME: ENGLAND 2-0 SENEGAL

England double their advantage on the stroke of half-time.

It’s a brilliant counter-attacking goal after Senegal commit bodies forward.

Bellingham does really well, carrying the ball through midfield. He finds Foden, who then squares it to Kane, and the Tottenham star makes no mistake with a clinical finish to score his first goal of the tournament and surely put this game beyond Senegal.

The second half has begun…

Senegal have made a triple change at the break.

Ndiaye, Diatta and Ciss come off, Gueye, Sarr and Dieng are on.

englands-jordan-henderson-right-celebrates-scoring-their-sides-first-goal-of-the-game-during-the-fifa-world-cup-round-of-sixteen-match-at-the-al-bayt-stadium-in-al-khor-qatar-picture-date-sunda Alamy Stock Photo England's Jordan Henderson (right) celebrates scoring their side's first goal of the game. Alamy Stock Photo

Rice makes a good interception and plays it to Kane, who squares it for Saka, but the Arsenal man can’t find the target from the edge of the area.

Senegal have to be careful or they could be in for a hammering.

ENGLAND 3-0 SENEGAL (SAKA 57)

That’s almost certainly game over now.

It’s great work from Foden on the left. He beats a couple of players before crossing low to Saka, who finishes from close range.

The Man City star has looked really sharp and the decision to start him has been vindicated.

Here’s a look at some more slick play by England resulting in the third goal.

Double change for England.

Foden and Saka — both of whom have played well — are off, with Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford coming on.

The game has gone flat in recent minutes.

Senegal are seeing plenty of the ball, with England sitting back, but the African side don’t really look like scoring.

englands-harry-kane-celebrates-scoring-the-second-goal-during-the-fifa-world-cup-round-of-sixteen-match-at-the-al-bayt-stadium-in-al-khor-qatar-picture-date-sunday-december-4-2022 Alamy Stock Photo England's Harry Kane celebrates scoring. Alamy Stock Photo

Sarr has a free kick in a promising position, but can only find the side netting.

A goal at this stage would be little more than a consolation for Aliou Cissé’s side.

Koulibaly gets booked for clattering into Kane from behind.

England then make two changes — Eric Dier and Mason Mount replace John Stones and Jude Bellingham.

With the exception of that uncomfortable 20-minute spell in the first half, this game could hardly have gone much better for the Three Lions.

Kane narrowly misses Rashford’s low cross as England threaten a fourth.

Meanwhile, there is another substitution, as Kalvin Phillips replaces Henderson.

doha-qatar-04th-dec-2022-youssouf-sabaly-of-senegal-regrets-the-goal-of-harry-kane-of-england-during-the-match-between-england-and-senegal-for-the-round-of-16-of-the-fifa-world-cup-qatar-2022-a Alamy Stock Photo Youssouf Sabaly of Senegal. Alamy Stock Photo

In a rare Senegal attack, Jakobs crosses for Sarr, whose header is nowhere near the target.

That’s the former’s last act of the game, as he’s replaced by AC Milan full-back Fodé Ballo-Touré.

Almost nothing has happened for about 20 minutes at this stage.

Both sides have played like it’s all over for a while now.

england-manager-gareth-southgate-during-the-fifa-world-cup-round-of-sixteen-match-at-the-al-bayt-stadium-in-al-khor-qatar-picture-date-sunday-december-4-2022 Alamy Stock Photo England manager Gareth Southgate. Alamy Stock Photo

There will be four minutes of stoppage time…

al-khor-qatar-4th-december-2022-bukayo-saka-of-england-all-smiles-as-he-is-substituted-during-the-fifa-world-cup-2022-match-at-al-bayt-stadium-al-khor-picture-credit-should-read-david-klein-s Alamy Stock Photo Bukayo Saka of England all smiles as he is substituted. Alamy Stock Photo

FULL-TIME: ENGLAND 3-0 SENEGAL

So that’s that.

The cliché that ‘goals change games’ certainly applies here.

Senegal did well in the first half and looked the better side for long spells.

However, Jordan Henderson’s goal really knocked the stuffing out of them and they never fully recovered.

Harry Kane’s second on the brink of half-time really was the killer blow.

Senegal were toothless in the second half and seldom looked capable of scoring, as England saw the game out comfortably and were able to make plenty of changes to rest some key players.

There were plenty of positives to take for Southgate — Bellingham, Kane, Saka and Foden all had good games as England scored a couple of beautifully worked goals.

On the flip side, the fact that the Three Lions looked so leaden for most of the first half means they won’t be getting too carried away just yet.

england-manager-gareth-southgate-left-shakes-hands-with-harry-kane-at-the-end-of-the-fifa-world-cup-round-of-sixteen-match-at-the-al-bayt-stadium-in-al-khor-qatar-picture-date-sunday-december-4 Alamy Stock Photo England manager Gareth Southgate (left) shakes hands with Harry Kane. Alamy Stock Photo

Right, that’s all from me.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

You can read our match report here and we’ll have more reaction to follow.

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