Today at the World Cup: Kane and Ronaldo suffer heartbreaking exits


England suffered penalty heartache after Harry Kane’s late miss saw them lose 2-1 to France in the World Cup quarter-finals.

Lying in wait for the reigning champions is a last-four tie with surprise package Morocco, who stunned Portugal earlier in the day.

Here, we take a look back on Saturday’s action in Qatar.

Penalty pain again

Kane endured a rollercoaster of emotions at Al Bayt Stadium with the England captain scoring one penalty but missing another late on against France that proved crucial.

Aurelien Tchouameni drilled the world champions ahead after 17 minutes with a superb strike from distance but England restored parity nine minutes into the second half through Kane.

Bukayo Saka won the penalty and Kane sent Tottenham colleague Hugo Lloris the wrong way from 12 yards to draw level with Wayne Rooney as England’s record goalscorer.

England were in the ascendancy at this point but Olivier Giroud headed home with 12 minutes left to put France back in front – only for Mason Mount to win a second spot-kick for Gareth Southgate’s side soon after.

Kane stepped up again but fired over the crossbar and the European Championship runners-up bowed out of the World Cup at the quarter-final stage.

Holders find a way

France have not always been fluent in Qatar but continue to progress and stay on course to retain their title.

Tchouameni put Didier Deschamps’ side into a deserved early lead against England but once their opponents had equalised, it was Southgate’s team who looked the more likely.

Harry Maguire hit the post with a header and Lloris was called into action before Antoine Griezmann showed his class with a sumptuous delivery into the area that Giroud powered home.

More drama was to follow when Theo Hernandez bundled Mount to the floor but Kane smashed over from 12 yards and a late Marcus Rashford free-kick hit the roof of the net.

With Morocco up next for France, Deschamps’ men will firmly believe they can become the third country to win consecutive World Cups.


Morocco continue to represent their continent in style and made history by beating Portugal 1-0 to become the first African nation to reach the World Cup semi-finals.

After shocking Belgium and Spain already, many experts predicted their fairy tale in Qatar would end in the quarter-final stage but Yassine Bounou kept another clean sheet and Youssef En-Nesyri made himself the hero at the other end of the pitch.

En-Nesyri headed home three minutes before half-time to put Morocco in the driving seat but they did need to ride their luck.

Bruno Fernandes hit the crossbar before Cristiano Ronaldo was thwarted by Bounou, while Pepe inexplicably headed wide from close range in eight dramatic minutes of stoppage time. Substitute Walid Cheddira also received a red card to rule him out of next Wednesday’s semi-final.

It failed to stop more joyful celebrations come the final whistle with Morocco manager Walid Regragui, who was only appointed earlier this year, doing his reputation no harm with another World Cup giant-killing added to his resume.

Tearful goodbye for Ronaldo?

Ronaldo’s record-equalling outing in men’s football ended in tears after Portugal bowed out.

Ronaldo was summoned six minutes into the second half and in the process was able to draw level with Kuwait’s Bader Al-Mutawa on 196 international appearances.

Given the drama following the five-time Ballon d’Or winner around in Qatar, it felt inevitable he would be in the headlines and his big moment occurred late on at Al Thumama Stadium.

Played through on goal with only Bounou to beat, Ronaldo was thwarted by the Moroccan stopper in the first minute of stoppage time and with it one of Portugal’s best chances went begging.

At full-time Ronaldo was in tears and given his age, it could be his last World Cup and perhaps the final time he graces the biggest of stages if he fails to seal a January move to a European club. He did not score in any of his eight World Cup knockout ties.

Tributes paid to Grant

Sad news marked the penultimate Saturday of this World Cup with news of the death of American journalist Grant Wahl.

Wahl was one of the most prominent sports writers from the United States and died aged 48 while covering Friday’s last-eight clash between Argentina and the Netherlands.

FIFA paid tribute to the hugely-respected journalist, who spent two decades with Sports Illustrated, by putting flowers and a picture of him at his assigned seat at Al Bayt Stadium.

Basketball star LeBron James, Leeds boss Jesse Marsch and USA captain Tyler Adams were among those to offer remembrance to the American.

Wahl devoted lots of his coverage to the human rights issues surrounding the World Cup and earlier in the tournament tweeted that he had been detained for trying to enter a game wearing a rainbow pride shirt, but days before his death had been recognised by FIFA for reporting on an eighth World Cup.

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