England captain Harry Kane netted his first penalty kick for a temporary equalizer but squandered his second chance, thus allowing reigning champions France to clinch a 2-1 win and advance to the semifinals of the Qatar 2022 football World Cup.
Kylian Mbappé's squad had taken the lead through Aurélien Tchouaméni in the 17th minute but Kane tied the score 7 minutes into the second half. For a moment England troubled French keeper Hugo Lloris before La Bleu reacted. English goalie Jordan Pickford deflected a superb shot from Olivier Giroud to the corner but, in the ensuing action, it was Giroud again who headed home a cross from Theo Hernandez for a 2-1 lead seven minutes before the regular time.
Three minutes later, Hernandez pushed substitute Mason Mount inside the box. Brazilian referee Wilton Sampaio saw nothing, but he was tipped from the Video Assisted Referee (VAR) booth that something did not add up and eventually awarded the penalty that would have given the European Cup runners-up the possibility to bring the game into extra time.
England still had one more opportunity, but Marcus Rashord's last-minute free kick went slightly over the crossbar.
France will now face Morocco on Dec. 14 for a place in the Dec. 18 final against the winners of the Dec. 13 clash between Argentina and Croatia.
It will be France's second African rival in Qatar after losing 1-0 to Tunisia in the group phase on Nov. 30. At that time, France, who had already qualified for the next stage, fielded a team made up of mostly second-choice players.