England suffered World Cup heartbreak as France overtook them with a 2-1 win in a dramatic World Cup quarter-final.
Aurelien Tchouameni put the defending champions ahead in the first half, before Harry Kane leveled things shortly after the break, with the Three Lions looking the better side.
But Olivier Giroud restored France’s lead with just over ten minutes left, and as Kane had the chance to equalize with a second penalty, he kicked the free kick over the bar.
France’s World Cup defense will face Morocco in the semi-finals, but for England it will be a reflection on another major tournament where they impressed but ultimately failed.
Both sides went with the same starting XI that carried them through to the knockout stages, as Gareth Southgate stuck with a back four system for England’s toughest test of the tournament.
The Three Lions got off to a confident start, with a few early efforts blocked, although neither side was able to gain full control.
France took the lead with 17 minutes of play, England perhaps mistreated in the preparation. Bukayo Saka looked fouled but play was choppy allowing the Blues to counter. Declan Rice couldn’t stop Kylian Mbappe, the ball returned to Tchouameni and he fired a long shot into the top corner.
England responded well, with Kane having some effort saved by Hugo Lloris. The Three Lions captain could well have had a penalty when Dayot Upamecano brought it down just on the edge of the box, but first the referee and then the VAR ruled it was not a knock of foot.
The Southgate team got their penalty well, nine minutes after the restart, when Saka was tripped by Tchouameni. Kane was forced to wait but, facing his club teammate, was ruthless from 12 yards.
It was England who looked most likely to take the lead, with France stuck for much of the half but the Blues restoring their advantage with 12 minutes to go. Antoine Griezmann whipped in a superb cross, and Giroud crossed his man at the near post to head home.
Mason Mount was introduced and he was burst into the box by a mad push from Theo Hernandez, with the ref somehow not pointing out the spot. VAR corrected this error, Kane gave the opportunity to equalize once more but on this occasion he couldn’t find the target.
England were unable to bounce back from that blow, although Marcus Rashford came close with a free-kick in the 100th minute as they watched their World Cup end in painful fashion.