England fell short in the latter stages of another World Cup despite a strong performance against holders France.

Harry Kane scored one penalty and missed another as goals from Aurelien Tchouameni and Olivier Giroud proved enough to seal victory for Didier Deschamps’ team.

France will now face Morocco in the semi-finals, while England will be left to lick their wounds on another disappointing night.

Both sides had moments of promise in the early stages of the match, but it was France who created the first real chance. Some nice interplay on the right between Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele allowed the latter to cross and Giroud’s stooping header was too close to Jordan Pickford.

That warning wasn’t heeded by England, who with 17 minutes played gave France too much space on the edge of the box. Tchouameni unleashed a powerful, low drive which beat Pickford and nestled in the bottom left corner.

In response, England forced Hugo Lloris into a couple of saves, first to gather a tame Luke Shaw free-kick and then to deny Spurs teammate Kane, bearing down on goal.

The latter had a penalty appeal waved away after a coming together with Dayot Upamecano on the edge of the box shortly after, which came to nothing even after a VAR check.

Kane was growing increasingly influential and his powerful shot from distance brought a flying save from Lloris just before the half-hour mark.

England, by half-time, had grown into the game but largely been kept at arm’s length by the world champions.

Match stats

Possession: 57% - 43%

Shots: 16 - 8

Shots on target: 8 - 5

Corners: 5 - 2

Gareth Southgate’s side came out with intent after the break and very nearly equalised just two minutes into the second half. Lloris produced an acrobatic save to keep out a fierce Jude Bellingham shot, before Harry Maguire nearly headed home from a corner with the goalkeeper stranded off his line.

France’s reprieve was brief, though. Minutes later, Bukayo Saka skilfully evaded a couple of challenges in the box before being fouled by Tchouameni. Kane stepped up and fired his penalty into the top left corner to level the scores.

England, vulnerable having just scored, were almost behind again immediately as Adrien Rabiot was sent clear and hit a first-time shot which Pickford parried.

The Three Lions were on top though and Saka, superb throughout, almost created something from nothing with an hour gone, driving into the box before seeing his low effort saved.

Maguire came within inches of heading a Jordan Henderson free-kick into the bottom corner, glancing the ball past the outside of the post, before Saka prodded an effort wide at the back post after a low cross from Shaw.

For all of England’s superiority in the second half, though, they were given a brutal reminder of the quality of their opponents. Giroud, having missed a gilt-edged chance moments earlier, beat Maguire to a wicked delivery from Griezmann and powered his header past Pickford.

With a little over ten minutes left, a quick response was necessary. And they were gifted a way back into the game when Theo Hernandez barged Mason Mount in the box to concede another penalty.

But Kane, usually so reliable, blazed his penalty over the bar. 

England were understandably deflated and, despite eight added minutes and a Marcus Rashford free kick with seconds remaining, couldn’t find a late equaliser.