Harry Kane took responsibility for England’s World Cup exit after blazing a late penalty over the bar in the Three Lions’ 2-1 defeat to France, saying he will “have to live with” the error.
England more than matched France during Saturday’s tense quarter-final at Al Bayt Stadium, with Kane cancelling out Aurelien Tchouameni’s opener from the spot after the France midfielder fouled Bukayo Saka in the area.
However, Olivier Giroud restored the holders’ lead with 12 minutes remaining, and Kane was unable to score again when Theo Hernandez conceded a second penalty six minutes from time, firing over the crossbar.
The miss saw Kane squander the chance to surpass Wayne Rooney as England’s all-time top goalscorer with his 54th international strike, while the Three Lions fell to their seventh World Cup quarter-final elimination – a tournament record.
Speaking to BBC Sport after the defeat, England’s captain fronted up to his mistake and praised his team-mates for going toe-to-toe with the world champions.
“It’s tough to take for me personally and for the team,” he said. “I couldn’t be prouder of the boys. We had better spells, better chances, but football comes down to small details.
“As the captain and the one who missed the penalty, I take responsibility for that. I can’t fault my preparation or the details before the game.
“I felt confident taking it, I just didn’t execute it the way I wanted to. It will be something I have to live with and take on the chin.
7 – This is the seventh time England have been eliminated from the quarter-final stages of the World Cup, more than any other side in the history of the competition. Heartbreak.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe)
“The team is in a really good place and there will be highs in the future. Standing here now, we are gutted it has come to an end as we had full belief we could go all the way. We can be proud of what we’ve done.”
Kane is the first player to both score and miss a penalty in a World Cup match (excluding shoot-outs) since Michal Bilek did so for Czechoslovakia against the United States in 1990.
He has scored more World Cup penalties than any other player (four).
The miss leaves Kane level with Rooney on 53 England goals, and the Manchester United great expressed his support for the Three Lions skipper after the loss.
“Absolutely gutted for the lads but proud of the way they’ve played this tournament and they should be proud,” Rooney said on Twitter.
“Congratulations to Harry Kane on equalling the record, he’ll be on his own soon and I couldn’t think of anyone better to take over. Keep your head up Harry.”