England have reached the quarter finals of the 2018 World Cup – facing Sweden in the last eight at the weekend – after an incredible penalty shootout win over Colombia.
Eric Dier’s winning penalty secured it for the Three Lions, after Carlos Bacca missed a sudden death spot kick to put the tie in England’s hands. Gareth Southgate’s side should have realistically tied it up in normal time following another penalty from Harry Kane, but Yerry Mina’s injury time equaliser forced a nervy extra time period.
It was a lively start inside the Otkrytie Arena, as England looked to take the game to Colombia. Ashley Young looked to test David Ospina from a free kick, who punched well, before a Kieran Trippier cross gave Harry Kane a half chance, but couldn’t direct his header on target.
After weathering the 20 minute storm at the beginning of the match, Jose Pekerman’s side grew into the game with more possession, but failed to truly trouble Jordan Pickford in the England goal, until Juan Quintero fired straight at the Everton stopper from distance at the end of half.
In what was a fiery encounter throughout, Wilmar Barrios was fortunate to only see yellow after throwing his head towards Jordan Henderson prior to Tripper’s free kick, who could only curl it wide, before a couple of half chances came and went for England,
While the first half was frustrating for the Three Lions, the second period got off to a dream start, with Kane winning a penalty 10 minutes after the restart.
Hauled down by Carlos Sanchez from a corner, the England captain was made to wait before taking the spot kick as Colombia protested, but it didn’t matter as Kane fired straight down the middle and score his sixth goal at the World Cup, giving Gareth Southgate’s side the lead.
A second almost followed after 63 minutes, but Dele Alli headed over at the far post when he perhaps should’ve done better, as England went in search of doubling their lead.
Los Cafeteros looked to make the remainder of the contest as scrappy as possible in a bid to find an equaliser, yet it was England who looked the more likely nation to score the second goal in the game, but couldn’t quite get that final pass or shot right.
England’s wastefulness however was almost punished with just under 10 minutes remaining, as Kyle Walker was robbed of possession inside his own half, giving Colombia the chance to break, but Juan Cuadrado blazed his shot well over – much to the relief of the Manchester City defender.
Holding on towards the end, all of England’s good work was almost undone when Pickford produced a magnificent save to tip Mateus Uribe’s long range strike over, but from the resulting corner, Yerry Mina rose the highest to head home despite Trippier’s efforts on the line, and sent
It was Colombia who dominated the first period of extra time, continually asking questions of the England defenders with dangerous crosses and through balls, and looked the likelier nation to score the third goal in the tie, before the referee’s whistle gave Southgate’s side some respite.
The second period saw England take control,
Radamel Falcao and Juan Cuadrado dispatched Colombia’s first two, while Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford did so for England – with power and precision. Luis Muriel did the same, but then, the dreaded misses. Jordan Henderson saw his kick saved by David Ospina, while Uribe hit the bar.
Kieran Trippier dispatched, while Bacca’s kick was saved by Pickford. Dier stepped up to round off the win and seal England’s first ever World Cup penalty shootout win.