England and France went head to head in the last quarter final game of the ongoing tournament. It was the first time both teams were meeting at this stage in the tournament and also their first meeting in the tournament in almost three decades.
France, the defending champions, went ahead in the first 20 minutes through Real Madrid midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni before Harry Kane restored parity from the spot early in the first half. Olivier Giroud became France’s all-time goalscorer when he gave France the lead with a bullet header in the 78th minute.
That proved to be the winning goal as Kane, with another opportunity to restore parity from the spot late in the game, skied his penalty.
Keane, commentating on the game with ITV, praised France for their performance as the defending champions while chastising England for a poor attacking performance in the second half.
“That’s where you have to give the French credit, we’re at the game, we feel it. The game was there for the taking,” he said. “France took it and that’s why they’re the champions. England it’s there.”
Ian Wright, his co-commentator on the night, disagreed with him, saying that England did all they could but the better team won.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a missed opportunity, we missed a penalty at the death, we’ve come back twice against the world champions,” Wright said.
“It’s just one of them things. We could have got a penalty in the first half. We can’t say it’s a missed opportunity because he missed the penalty.”
Gary Neville, also co-commentating on the game, added: “I think the lads will think that though Ian. We think they’ve done brilliantly well and represented us for four years, but I think the lads in the changing room will think that’s a missed opportunity, the way they’ve played.
“They’ve got the game by the scruff of the neck in the second half and Morocco in the semi.”
Meanwhile, Walid Regragui, manager of Morocco, is happy that England has left the tournament as he believes his side has a better chance against France than against the Three Lions.
The France-born manager led his team to become the first African nation to make the semis of the World Cup in the tournament’s history. He hoped to face the country of his birth for sentimental and tactical reasons.
“I want France in the semi-finals,” the 47-year-old said after leading his country to a 1-0 victory over Portugal on Saturday. “It’s my second country.”