England and France retained confidence in the teams that impressed in the round of 16. Les Bleus thus benefited most in the opening phase. They tapped the fastest and also took the lead thanks to a bomb from Tchouaméni from outside the rectangle.
After that, the English were allowed to take over, and they did so with verve. Kane in particular made his mark. He collided with Lloris from a sharp angle, saw a shot deflect and perhaps should have been awarded a penalty for a rough foul by Upamecano.
The English fire died out with peace in sight, but then flared up again. Lloris floated a Bellingham volley off the top corner. After a real siege France had to capitulate. Tchouaméni floored Saka and Kane almost smashed the penalty kick through the net.
France suddenly understood that it had something to show itself. Rabiot found Pickford on his way and an otherwise pale Mbappé rumbled past Walker for once, though there was no follow-up. An equally mediocre Giroud missed an imposed opportunity fifteen minutes before the end, but quickly made up for it by extending a hard cross from Griezmann in goal.
The new lead was no reason to relax yet, as Hernandez foolishly ran into substitute Mount’s back and conceded another penalty. This time, nerves screeched through Kane’s throat. Face to face with Lloris, his Spurs teammate, he aimed high over.
A cunning and relieved France then played the game out on métier. The English fly home after a frustrating evening, while the French can prepare for a semi-final against former colony Morocco.