Thu, 02 Feb 2023

DOHA, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Traditional rivals France and England will meet in the World Cup quarterfinals after emphatic victories over Poland and Senegal in the round of 16 on Sunday.

Kylian Mbappe scored two goals and set up another as defending champions France advanced with a 3-1 win over Poland at Al-Thumama stadium.

Olivier Giroud surpassed Thierry Henry as France's all-time leading scorer when he put the Les Bleus ahead with a low finish just before halftime.

Mbappe struck twice in the last 25 minutes before Robert Lewandowski converted a penalty in the last minute of stoppage time following a Dayot Upamecano handball.

"We are delighted to get through to the quarterfinals," Mbappe told reporters. "It was a difficult game. We played a tough side and managed to score goals at important times during the match. Even though we didn't play as well as we could have, we won and we're delighted."

The 23-year-old has already scored five times this tournament, taking his overall World Cup tally to nine goals.

"I'm not thinking about the Golden Ball or Golden Boot [awarded to the World Cup's best player and highest scorer, respectively]," he said.

"The only objective for me is to win the World Cup. Right now, the quarterfinal is the most important thing. It's the only thing I dream about. I came here to win the World Cup and help the national team, not anything else."

England progressed to the last eight following a comfortable 3-0 win over Senegal at Al Bayt stadium.

England captain Harry Kane, the Golden Boot of Russia 2018, scored his first goal of the tournament while Jordan Henderson and Bukayo Saka were also on target.

"We were a bit sticky with the ball in the first 25 to 30 minutes," admitted England coach Gareth Southgate, who said that in the first half, England's best chances "came from winning the ball from them, and Jude (Bellingham) and Hendo (Henderson) were outstanding in that aspect of the game."

"They're both forward-thinking midfield players. Hendo doesn't get many (goals) for us, but he's been outstanding. He's such a leader, he knits the team together, around the camp he's brilliant, and his performances have been top drawer for us."

When asked about Saturday's clash against France in Al Khor, Southgate said: "[They are] an outstanding team with a phenomenal tournament record and some outstanding individuals. So, without a doubt it's a game where we'll have to find our highest possible level."

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