Top Stories

World Cup Rewind: France downs Poland, England shuts out Senegal

Defending World Cup champions France continued its quest towards back-to-back titles on Sunday with Kylian Mbappe stealing the show for Les Bleus against Poland.

Mbappe scored twice for Didier Deschamps’ squad while Olivier Giroud became France’s all-time goalscorer in a 3-1 Round of 16 victory over Poland. Les Bleus will now prepare for their toughest matchup yet, a quarterfinal date with England on Saturday.

France began the match on the front foot, forcing Wojciech Szczesny into four saves in the opening 35 minutes. Aurelien Tchouameni, Ousmane Dembele, and Mbappe were all denied by the Juventus goalkeeper as Poland’s backline stood up to the early tests. Although, France eventually found its breakthrough goal before halftime.

Mbappe’s through ball pass allowed Giroud to slot past his former Arsenal teammate, propelling Les Bleus into a 1-0 advantage.

France fought to add to its lead in the second half with Antoine Griezmann being denied by Szczesny. Mbappe’s top-shelf finish in the 74th minute though would give France its two-goal advantage as the 23-year-old called his own number with a second-half missile.

Mbappe doubled his tally in stoppage time, sending a shot into the top-right corner of Szczesny’s goal, continuing his impressive tournament.

Robert Lewandowski’s penalty-kick goal proved to be a mere consolation for Poland as Czeslaw Michniewicz’s squad suffered elimination. Hugo Lloris originally denied Lewandowski from the spot, but the Tottenham keeper was ruled off his line too early and the Barcelona strike did not miss on his second attempt.

England 3, Senegal 0

(Jordan Henderson 38′, Harry Kane 45+3′, Bukayo Saka 57′)

England booked its place in the quarterfinals on Sunday after breezing past Senegal 3-0 in Round of 16 action.

Jordan Henderson and Harry Kane scored before halftime while Bukayo Saka added an insurance goal in the second half. Jordan Pickford registered a one-save clean sheet for the Three Lions.

After a strong start by Senegal in the opening minutes, England struck first with Jordan Henderson delivering the opening goal. Harry Kane played Jude Bellingham upfield with a pass before Bellingham’s cut-back was slotted home by Henderson past Edouard Mendy.

England’s final counter-attack of the half was capped by Kane’s one-time finish past Mendy after Phil Foden picked out the Tottenham forward. Bellingham springed England upfield before Foden and a wide-open Kane connected for a 2-0 advantage.

England kept its foot on the gas in the second half with Foden registering his second assist of the match. Foden streaked up the left wing before his low cross was chipped home by Saka for his third goal of the tournament.

Gareth Southgate’s squad held on for a shutout win and a date with France next weekend.


  1. some of the people talking up england and acting like what happened was ok, our route out was to win the wales game, be in position to win the group, and then you cross over with senegal. as long as people make excuses for wales or act like we have no business beating england, we will play teams like holland round of 16. people talk about the “plateau” but that’s one practical reason we’re stuck. the other half is indeed that we need to improve, though IMO both sides of the ball. on that this short passing project is not the same thing as making baby messis who would actually elevate this thing. that’s a red herring, bait and switch, pick your metaphor. you don’t make this a winner by making it more tentative.

  2. Ugh . . not the . . what if our athletes did “this?” again. This time with a twist: what would their athletes due if. . .

    Anyway, France 3-1 Poland, with Poland’s goal coming on a bit of a bad call, twice taken penalty.

    England 3-0 over Senegal – African champions.

    Today, South Korea down 4 to Brazil.

    Are we feeling any better about our loss to the Dutch on Saturday?

    • i thought we were trying to elevate the thing and not just justify our middling status. every excuse that runs like “but england” or “but wales” undersells this thing and ensures we stay right where we are. to be fair, i am sure your “transitive property” arguments work. they are my rule of thumb on how do i stack up. well, but we lost to x who lost to y. but that tends to be a static status quo analysis, and i thought the idea was to make this more competitive not make transitive, deferential excuses to the best teams.

      • plus, as i have said before a jillion times, we were already tying england in 2010. we since c. 2002 have beaten teams like portugal and ghana in world cups. we as recently as klinsi’s cycles — however they finished — were beating italy away, HOLLAND, germany. this is not progress relative to US soccer pre-2015. it’s only progress relative to like 1990.

        you can go through GB’s whole tenure and there is not a single upset win over an elite team. that to me says everything. not one game where we mopped the floor with or even managed to squeak by on pure luck. through 2015 those sort of results were ROUTINE. about once a year we’d beat someone good in a friendly. not lose and make excuses. not tie because both teams hedged. won.

        sorry but this is being watered down beyond belief. people need to expect things for them to have a chance of happening. expecting a tie or loss in these games, and it’s ok, or making moral victory excuses, “oh but the possession,” so what. that doesn’t help us win the big ones or advance the program one bit. that’s how “happy to be here” second rate programs act. i want a coach who wins those games.

  3. One has to think if Mbappé was born and lived in the USA that he would be playing gridiron football instead of soccer. He would be a slot receiver or running back.

    That’s just reality here.

    • A 5’11” 161 lbs NFL running back?! Slot receivers aren’t small human beings either. Cooper Kupp is 6’2” 200 lbs. Chris Godwin for the Bucs plays in the slot on 3rd downs. He’s 6’0” 215 lbs. Retired Julian Edelman is 185 lbs and can bench press 220 lbs 20 times during his playing days. Collegiate Track & Field or a backup college PG is his height, weight, speed comp. I believe if Mbappe was American, he’d be playing CF, who never stays centrally. When the coach figures out he’s not disciplined to stay centrally, they’ll keep him at RW, because CP plays LW. (God forbid a better skilled athlete plays LW, who goes towards goal for the USA.) US would have him right footing up at RW shooting from impossible angles and have him crossing like a fullback outside of the 18 just because he’s fast. He wouldn’t be the initiator like he is with France if he was American. I like taking trips in make believe land.

      • You do realize he wouldn’t be 165 pounds if he played gridiron football? It’s ok to think. And yes Running back is the most likely. Most RB are around that height. Cooper Kupp isn’t a slot receiver.

      • 2tone – google Cooper Kupp in the slot! It’s not complicated. Allen Iverson played football in high school at a 165 lbs. Same body type.

    • i was a multisport HS and college guy who also did track and x-country. IMO soccer-track double players scale up well. we aren’t the john brooks you folks want to hide with schemes. we can stay with pretty much anyone. we can outrun most soccer players. it’s the slow pure technicians like freddy adu who struggle to scale up from youth to adult play. i knew plenty of juggle kings who were subs by either college or HS age because they couldn’t defend or handle the speed of play. you can drill someone like me on foot skills. you can’t hand a slow poke a jetpack or ask the other team to slow down.

      one of my select state championships was a year i was running x-country meets every saturday before a game sunday. it made me fit as heck. i am concerned that the soccer snobs have taken over the enterprise and they want exclusive soccer play. i think a lot of soccer success depends on pairing soccer skill with other qualities, like height, speed, and endurance. i also personally found having another sport was good for having an even keel. if a game went bad or i got benched, i had a meet that weekend. if a meet went bad i had a soccer game sunday.

      landon would probably have been a D1 level distance runner. part of landon scoring goals late was his endurance level. i would embrace that.

    • one of the reasons i don’t like GB is i feel like his tentative short-passing baby barca game minimizes the value of america’s natural size and athletic talent. we are not amazingly skilled. i don’t understand why we run from the mbappe model. i kind of want more tim weahs and fewer LDLTs who are kind of skilled — but not amazingly so — and not athletic or good at 50/50s at all. i think a slow semi technical team usually is even worse than america’s history organized athletic teams. and i think we can now field athletes who have pretty good skill just the same. leverage the positives and advantages we have.

      • Mr. V.

        ” i kind of want more tim weahs and fewer LDLTs who are kind of skilled — but not amazingly so — and not athletic or good at 50/50s at all. i think a slow semi technical team usually is even worse than america’s history organized athletic teams.”

        You represent everything that’s wrong with America in 2022. It’s overly polarized by idealogues.

        The USMNT needs as many players as possible who are as skilled as possible and as athletic as possible. It is possible to get fairly high levels of both in one players

        And then they need a manager who knows how to put together a team that combines these players into an effective team.

        You’re taking an idealogue stance on the matter. That’s great if you are Pep and can afford to buy whoever you want.

        But that is not reality for the USMNT.

Leave a Comment