Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane had the chance to level the match at 2-2 in the second half of England’s 2-1 defeat to France in the World Cup quarterfinals in Qatar, but skied his effort well over Hugo Lloris’s crossbar.
He had converted a spot-kick earlier in the match (54th minute) to level the match at 1-1, but he couldn’t convert the chance that was served on a silver platter after Theo Hernandez clattered needlessly into the back of Mason Mount in the box in the 81st minute, just two minutes after Olivier Giroud made it 2-1 to France with his near post header to finish off a beautiful cross from Antoine Griezmann.
Kane’s penalty miss was the lifeline France needed to win, as England were by far the better side on the night, and their relief upon Kane’s miss was clearly visible with their celebrations immediately after the fact. Sometimes it’s that little bit of luck that you need in matches of that magnitude, and France got the luck of the draw in that sense.
Bayern Munich’s Kingsley Coman, who replaced Ousmane Dembele in the 78th minute of play, recently admitted how nervous he was before Kane went to take his second penalty. He said that he had the “willies,” as he referred to it before the Tottenham talisman went to take his spot kick. “On the bench, we are always afraid, as on the penalty... but we have really the feeling of being all ready to fight for each other,” he said (Express UK).
“Even on the bench, we try to give energy to the starters. We really shouted, helped as much as possible. There was a crazy intensity, I tried to fight on all the balls even if I didn’t have many,” Coman continued, explaining how he gave his all with the brief cameo he was given in the match late on.
Even though it was Hernandez’s infringement that had conceded the penalty to England after the referee had a look at the VAR monitors, Coman still felt like he was partially at fault for giving away the penalty as he was involved in the sequence right before Jude Bellingham’s lofted ball to Mount in the box. Coman had only been on the pitch a matter of seconds before the incident occurred. “In the end, I was at fault, and I was very scared,” he said.
Looking forward, Coman said the focus now shifts to Morocco, who’ve been the shock nation of the tournament thus far and have gone on what’s truly been a remarkable run in Qatar. They’re an opponent Coman knows France cannot overlook whatsoever. “We will have to put all our energy for victory. They had a great run, coming out of a big group. They deserve to be there, we will work well tactically,” he explained.