Sport

'Corrupt' - England fans fume as Three Lions fall to sad World Cup defeat against France

England and France fans have friendly game in Qatar ahead of World …

England exited the Qatar World Cup in disappointing - fashion, falling 2-1 in a match where the referee stole the headlines.

Goals from Aurelien Tchouameni and Olivier Giroud were enough to put Gareth Southgate's Three Lions away, with Harry Kane scoring one of two penalties - dispatching the first, before hopelessly kicking the second into orbit.

Here's all the reaction as it happened.

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England knew exactly what they were in for as France shot into an early lead in with a stunner.

The heroic Jude Bellingham could only close down Tchouameni and was helpless to see the star lash a long-range effort past a stretching Jordan Pickford to send France into a lead.

However, the goal wasn't without controversy - and many were convinced that the goal shouldn't stand because of a clash between Bukayo Saka and Dayot Upamecano, with the French player clipping out the Arsenal wonderkid in the build-up to the shot.



Upamecano courted controversy once more shortly after by bringing down a charging Harry Kane as he crossed into the penalty box. VAR checked, and the referee refused to award a penalty.

The reasoning for the lack of a foul was that VAR cannot go back and award a free-kick - only a penalty. As Kane was crossing into the penalty area as the foul occurred, the 'foul' fell into the area of 'not a clear and obvious error'.

Still, that further infuriated fans.

England promised to offer more in the second half, regardless of officiating decisions. Jude Bellingham first sent a warning shot by lashing a long-range strike that forced Hugo Lloris into a fingertip save before Harry Maguire forced a fumble from Lloris on a corner which the Frenchman was grateful to eventually cover.

Fate intervened for England, as finally, there were awarded a penalty after Saka trickily juked into the box before linking with Bellingham. Before he could lash off a shot, he was taken to ground - with Harry Kane stepping up to take the resulting penalty

Which Kane buried to the delight of a nation:

With extra-time beckoning, the sides trading chances - Harry Maguire tickled the post with a strong header, while Olivier Giroud was only denied a goal by an excellent stop from Pickford.

Only seconds before France's all-time top goalscorer defied Pickford and England's defence by beating Maguire to a ball, sending France into a 2-1 lead.

Another call for a foul emerged from a screaming England fans as the referee denied Mason Mount a penalty for being barged to the floor by Theo Hernandez off the ball. Eventually, VAR awarded the foul - the clearest one of the night, but no red card for Hernandez who was only booked for the challenge.

However, more heartbreak was yet to arrive for England.The dependable Kane stepped up... and blazed the ball over.

Eight additional minutes were not enough for the Three Lions to dig themselves out. For all the talk of referring errors and VAR madness, England will know that they could've taken the game further - if they had only buried one of the penalties they were given. Southgate's final salvo was to send Jack Grealish onto the pitch - with a whole minute left to play.

England were awarded the final kick of the game - a free-kick outside of the box but Marcus Rashford could only threaten a goal. The Three Lions crashed out of the World Cup the second the ball flew over the bar.

With that, the semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup are set. Lionel Messi and Argentina will face Croatia and Luka Modric, while Hakim Ziyech and his surprising Morocco will take on France - in what should be an heated tie.

England will now pore over the World Cup with a full autopsy - and discuss why, once again, they couldn't bring it home.

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