Monday, 23 July 2018

England through to FIFA World Cup quarter finals

RUSSIA: England is through to the quarterfinals of the World Cup after beating Colombia in a penalty shootout three Lions had gone 12 long years without winning a knockout game at a major tournament but will now face Sweden in Samara on Saturday for a place in the semi-finals.

England largely controlled a tetchy first half which grew increasingly bad-tempered, with Colombia doing their best to provoke their opponents. Harry Kane squandered England’s best chance of the opening period as he narrowly missed the target having been located, unmarked, at the far post by Tottenham teammate Kieran Trippier.

Colombia was fortunate not to be reduced to 10 men shortly before the break when Wilmar Barrios appeared to aim a headbutt at Jordan Henderson, while one of their coaches even got in on the act after the halftime whistle, attempting to barge Raheem Sterling out of the way.

Jose Peckerman’s side was finally penalized for their indiscipline 12 minutes after the restart when Carlos Sanchez hauled down Kane, instead of attempting to defend a set piece.

Colombia did their best to put Kane off his stride, delaying the spot kick and even attempting to scuff up the penalty spot, but the England captain kept his nerve and slammed the ball down the middle of the goal with David Ospina having committed to diving to his right.

Juan Cuadrado missed a great opening for Colombia with 10 minutes remaining when he blazed over following an error by Kyle Walker but Colombia scored an equalizer in the third minute of injury time.

Jordan Pickford produced a miraculous save to deny Mateus Uribe’s long-range effort but from the resulting corner, Yerry Mina powered his header beyond Trippier on the goalline.

England survived in extra time but was unable to carve out any clear-cut opportunities of their own as the contest entered the dreaded shootout.

Southgate’s men were on the brink when David Ospina saved Jordan Henderson’s effort but successive misses from Uribe and Carlos Bacca, whose effort was brilliantly kept out by Pickford, allowed Eric Dier the chance to put England into the last eight.

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