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England brush aside Senegal to advance, but Raheem Sterling going home due to ‘family matter’

Set up quarterfinal showdown against France

England v Senegal -World Cup Photo by Rico Brouwer/Soccrates/Getty Images

Senegal were hoping to provide an upset after the first three Round of 16 matchups at the 2022 World Cup all went to script, with the Netherlands, Argentina, and France all winning, and winning rather easily.

And the Lions of Teranga — with Édouard Mendy and Kalidou Koulibaly starting as usual — indeed made a good start to the game, carrying the better of the play for a while, even, but it were the Lions of England, the Three Lions who eventually woke up and roared the loudest.

Jordan Henderson, who started again (in place of Mason Mount) in the three-man midfield that England featured against Wales in their previous match — in fact, Marcus Rashford was the only one to not keep his place from the final group game — opened the scoring late in the first half, with Harry Kane doubling England’s lead on the stroke of half-time. Bukayo Saka, who replaced the aforementioned Rashford, adding a third for England early in the second half to make sure of the easy, straightforward win.

Mason Mount did come on for the final 15 minutes, long after the game was decided. Conor Gallagher still hasn’t featured at all, while Raheem Sterling missed the game due to personal reasons, which the team called a “family matter”. According to reports, Sterling’s family were victims of an armed robbery, and he’s left to the team at least for now to travel home and be with them.

“We’ve got to wait and see [whether he will return]. At the moment, clearly the priority is for him to be with his family. We’re going to support that, and leave him to have as much time as he needs.

“He’s going home. At the moment it’s a situation that he needs time with his family to deal with, and I don’t want to put him under any pressure with that. Sometimes football isn’t the most important thing, and family should come first.’’

-Gareth Southgate; source: ITV via Goal

Hopefully the only damage is material and monetary.

England will take on France in the quarterfinals next Saturday.

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