England's Harry Kane was left inconsolable after his penalty miss saw the Three Lions crash out of the World Cup; "I have to take it on the chin, says the striker, who equalled Wayne Rooney's England scoring record; Kane hopes Gareth Southgate remains as England manager for Euro 2024
Monday 12 December 2022 06:13, UK
England captain Harry Kane says he prepared to take two penalties against France in Saturday's 2-1 World Cup quarter-final defeat, but his execution let him down.
Kane emphatically dispatched his first spot-kick but skied his second over the bar with just six minutes of normal time remaining to end England's World Cup hopes and leave the striker inconsolable at full-time.
His first penalty had taken Kane level with Wayne Rooney's England scoring record of 53 goals and meant he had scored more penalties in normal time at World Cups than any player ever.
But he was unable to surpass Rooney and take Saturday's quarter-final to extra-time.
Asked if the first penalty impacted his thinking, Kane told ITV: "No. I'm always someone who prepares for getting one or two penalties in a game, I always have an idea of what I want to do.
"I can't fault my preparation or anything like that, it was just the execution on the night. The first pen was great, the second one I didn't quite hit it how I wanted to.
"I have to take it on the chin, it will hurt for sure, the whole game will hurt. As the captain, I'll take that, but I couldn't be prouder of the boys.
"It comes down to a small detail I'll take responsibility for. I'm not worried about the team and how it will impact them. We have some great talent."
England manager Gareth Southgate was non-committal over his future after Saturday's defeat with uncertainty about his next move, saying he would review his situation in the coming weeks and months.
Southgate has a contract that would take him through to Euro 2024 and his captain Kane wants him to remain in his post.
"That's down to him [whether he stays]." Kane added. "We've loved having him as a manager, I think he's been incredible, when you see where he's taken us from to where we are now, it's an amazing leap.
"I think we all hope he stays, but that's his decision, obviously he'll go away and review that, but before we know it we'll be getting ready for a Euros."
Southgate said he "needs a bit of time to review and reflect" following their exit.
"After every tournament we've sat down and reviewed and reflected," Southgate said, in a considered tone. "So we need a bit of time to make sure everyone makes the right decisions."
Gary Neville said England's players will be kicking themselves, knowing that a match against Morocco would have been the only thing standing in the way of a place in the World Cup final.
"You get this feeling every couple of years, every four years and you feel a bit hungover, just a little bit low, that's how I think everybody feels this morning when your team goes out of a tournament," Neville told Sky Sports News on Sunday morning.
"I thought the performance was really good. Before the game I thought France were favourites, I thought they were the better team or better XI, but I thought actually over the course of the game, we more than equalled them.
"I thought second half we were better, first half I thought they were good in parts, we were a little bit scrappy, but a missed opportunity, definitely I think. And that's not being harsh, I just think that's how the players and Gareth will be feeling with the work that goes in to get to this stage of a tournament, the hoops you have to jump through and knowing that it only comes round every four years, and seeing what was in front of them in the semi-finals.
"Morocco have done absolutely brilliantly, and they are going to be a really tough opponent, but then you think England vs Morocco in a World Cup semi-final, and again the opportunity does not become any better than that.
"England will think that is a massive missed opportunity. I think that more this morning than I did last night, just because of the fact that this was the moment, and you just don't know when they are going to come around again.
"I thought that four years ago when we played against Croatia, but these lads have got us into these situations again and again, and there has been that little something that just can't get us over the line.
"But I feel like the right things are happening on the pitch. We have a technical ability that is growing and a belief that's growing. In the past certainly, there have been autopsies about tournament exits and defeats, I don't feel like that this morning at all, I feel missed opportunity, I feel that the lads will be really dejected, but not where they will think they were inferior - and that has not always been the case."
Neville also fumed at the referee, calling him "a joke" and "rank bad".
Wilton Sampaio's decision-making was under the spotlight when Bukayo Saka was caught by Dayot Upamecano in the build-up to Aurelien Tchouameni's opening goal for France.
The French defender was involved again later in the half, seemingly fouling Kane as he entered the box on the right but VAR failed to intervene, presumably deeming the contact outside the box.
England did finally get a penalty when Saka was fouled by Tchouameni before VAR had to step in to award their second penalty for a foul on Mason Mount, although Kane fired the decisive penalty over.
Neville said of the referee: "He had an absolute nightmare. A joke of a referee. I'm not saying it was all down to England's defeat - people will say it is excuses - but he's just a bad referee, rank bad."
Neville believed France's first goal should have been ruled out for the foul on Saka: "It's a simple decision. He kicks his leg away - I'm not sure why that isn't a foul. He's nibbled and he's kicked him. It should be a free-kick. Upamecano has tried to win the ball on three or four occasions where can't win the ball, on Saka, on Kane."
Harry Maguire also told the BBC: "Really poor, very poor. From minute one, there were five, six fouls in the first 15 minutes, not one yellow card. It's a foul for the first goal, leading up to it on Bukayo.
"I can't really go into explaining how bad his performance was. I don't want to go into too much because I'll end up getting fined. But even though the big decisions were wrong he never gave us anything, throughout the game he was really poor."