Harry Kane was left “gutted” on Saturday after missing a crucial penalty in England’s 2-1 World Cup quarter-final defeat to France.
England skipper Kane blazed an 84th minute spot-kick over the bar that would have levelled the score at 2-2 at the Al Bayt Stadium.
It was another cruel chapter in England’s decades-long psychodrama revolving around major tournaments and penalty heartaches.
Kane had earlier made no mistake with another penalty on 54 minutes that saw him equal Wayne Rooney’s England goalscoring tally of 53 goals.
“As the captain, I’ll take that on the chin and that responsibility, missing the penalty, so it’s hard,” Kane said afterwards.
“Really tough night to take. I’m gutted, the team are gutted. We had the belief that we could achieve something special at this World Cup, but it came down to small details.
“On the night we had the better chances, the better spells in the game, but it comes down to the execution.”
Kane, 29, is one of the most reliable penalty-takers in world football, converting 58 spotkicks throughout his career with only 11 misses.
The England captain said he had felt confident as he lined up his second penalty of the night against France goalkeeper and Tottenham team-mate Hugo Lloris.
“I’m someone who, whenever I prepare, prepare for one penalty in the game, two penalties, so I can’t fault my preparation or detail,” Kane said.
“In the lead-up I felt as confident as I did on the first as I did on the second. It purely comes down to execution. I’ll take that on the chin.
“Of course it hurts now and it’ll hurt for probably a long time, but that’s part of being captain and a leader in the team, you have to take responsibility.”
Kane had looked inconsolable at the final whistle, hunched on the turf as team-mates rallied to his support.
England manager Gareth Southgate sprang to Kane’s defence.
“There’s nobody I would have rather had in that situation and if we had one tomorrow I’d feel exactly the same way,” Southgate said.
“For me he’s been a fantastic leader of this group.
“He’s the best but the best are still 85 percent (success rate) so even the best are going to miss at times so that’s football.
“It’s cruel for him because he will feel disappointed in himself but he shouldn’t because it’s 100 minutes of football and there’s a lot of things that can happen in terms of winning a game.”
World Cup News
World Cup hosts Qatar announced Friday that national coach Felix Sanchez had been let...
French Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera on Friday accused Argentine players of being “inelegant winners”...