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Quarterfinals and bust: Olivier Giroud wins it for France against England

The defending champions move on to the semifinals

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022: Quarter Final”England v France” Photo by ANP via Getty Images

France have reached the final four of the World Cup for the fourth time in the last seven editions, and will look to win it for the third time during that span as they take on Morocco in the semifinals on Wednesday and then potentially the winners of Argentina vs. Croatia next weekend — the rematch of the 2018 final well on the cards!

Les Bleus didn’t exactly look unbeatable in this one, but England were not quite able to reproduce some of their early form from the tournament either. Still, they hung in there after giving up an relatively early goal to an unlikely scorer, Aurélian Tchouaméni with just his second ever international goal just past the quarter hour mark, and slowly built up a head of steam, winning not one, but two penalties in the second half — one by Bukayo Saka, the other by Mason Mount, soon after coming off the bench. Unfortunately for them, Harry Kane was only able to convert the first of the two.

In between, Big Game Olivier Giroud popped up with a goal, getting the better of Harry Maguire and making a telling contribution on a big occasion as he’s wont to do. England kept Kylian Mbappé off the scoresheet, but France are more than just one player: Antoine Griezmann got both assists, for example, as perhaps a bit too much attention was paid to the tournament’s leading scorer.

Raheem Sterling, like Mount, made his entrance in the 79th minute, but was not able to affect the game. England thus fall at the quarterfinal stage for the third time in the last six World Cups.

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