Olivier Giroud scores late to give France the victory and set up semi-final with Morocco.

France have beaten England 2-1 in a fast-paced game to set up a semi-final World Cup clash with Morocco, who sensationally beat Portugal in the other quarter-final of the day.

Aurelién Tchouameni put France ahead with a blistering long-range shot in the 17th minute at Al Bayt Stadium on Saturday. England fans were left particularly aggrieved after calls for two suspected fouls against Bukayo Saka were dismissed in the seconds before the defending world champions opened the scoring.

It was a largely equally matched first half, but England began the second with renewed vigour. Saka was again brought down shortly after kickoff, but this time it was inside the French box, and the referee pointed to the spot.

Captain Harry Kane blasted the penalty kick into the net past his Tottenham team-mate Hugo Lloris to equalise in the 54th minute. It was a goal which left him equal with Wayne Rooney as the joint-highest scorer for the Three Lions.

There was a chance for Gareth Southgate’s men to go ahead in the 70th minute, but Harry Maguire missed the target, putting the ball into the side of the net.

And then, in the 76th minute, in front of a 68,895-capacity crowd, Olivier Giroud found a huge gap in the English defence and levelled a massive left foot volley. It was caught safely by Pickford, but England weren’t off the hook for long. Another minute, another cross, another chance for Giroud, and France’s leading goalscorer headed home to take the lead.

“It’s difficult to find the right words,” Jordan Henderson told ITV Sport after the game.

“We gave everything in the game, with the character and the mentality to keep going and find the equaliser. I can’t say any more, really – we gave it everything.”

England won another penalty when Theo Hernandez sent Mason Mount down inside the box, six minutes from the death, but Kane this time skied his attempt into orbit.

In the end, the French press was too strong for the Three Lions to stomach, and France go on to play Morocco in the World Cup semi-final on Wednesday at Al Bayt Stadium.

– aljazeera.com

Read Today's News TODAY... on our Telegram Channel click here to join and receive all the latest updates t.me/thetimeskuwait