England vs France: Three Lions add to history of knockout pain


England’s hopes of World Cup glory were dashed by a 2-1 defeat to France in the quarter-finals.

Since England’s failure to even qualify in 1994, this was the sixth time they have been eliminated in the knockout stages of the competition, with the exception being 2014 when Roy Hodgson’s side failed to get out of Group D.

Here we look at the previous knock-out stage exits.

Beckham sees red

The last 16 of the 1998 World Cup saw England face a grudge match against Argentina, who chose to wear their change kit, feeling it had brought them luck 12 years earlier when Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ goal helped knock England out in the quarter-finals. A frantic opening 20 minutes saw goals from Alan Shearer and Michael Owen cancel out Gabriel Batistuta’s early penalty, but the first half ended level as Javier Zanetti scored in stoppage time. The game then changed after the break when David Beckham retaliated after being fouled by Diego Simeone and was sent off. It went to a penalty shoot-out, which Argentina won 4-3 after David Batty missed the decisive kick, later saying it was the first penalty he had ever taken.

Ronaldinho stuns Seaman

England fans were dreaming when Owen put England 1-0 up against Brazil in the 23rd minute of their quarter-final against Brazil in Shizuoka, but it was to be short-lived. Rivaldo finished off a slick move to level moments before the break, but the defining image of the game came five minutes into the second half. Lining up a free-kick from distance, Ronaldinho decided to challenge David Seaman, who was expecting a cross. The ball floated over the Arsenal goalkeeper, who tumbled into the net after it. Ronaldinho was harshly sent off eight minutes later for a foul on Danny Mills, but there was no way back for England.

Rooney sees red

Another loss of discipline cost England in 2006 as they lost to Portugal on penalties in the quarter-finals. Sven-Goran Eriksson’s side were put on the defensive when Rooney – who had grown frustrated in an isolated role – was sent off in the 62nd minute for a stamp on Ricardo Carvalho. Goalless after 120 minutes, it went to a shoot-out in which Portugal goalkeeper Ricardo was the hero, saving from Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher.

Lampard’s ghost goal

England were handed a last-16 draw against Germany in 2010 after finishing second to the United States in Group C. Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski fired Germany into a 2-0 lead but, after Matthew Upson pulled one back, the key moment came in the 39th minute. Lampard’s shot cracked off the underside of the bar, bouncing down and then out. Replays showed it comfortably crossed the line, but the officials had not seen it. Instead of levelling, England fell further behind to two Thomas Muller goals in the second half as they lost 4-1. The incident prompted IFAB to begin testing goalline technology.

Semi-final heartache

England reached the semi-finals for the first time since 1990 at the Russian World Cup in 2018 and were favourites against Croatia. When Kieran Trippier fired in a free-kick with only five minutes gone England were dreaming of the final, but after Harry Kane hit the post Ivan Perisic levelled midway through the second half and Mario Mandzukic won it for Croatia in the second half of extra time.

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