England beat Colombia 4-3 on penalties to reach World Cup quarterfinals

Source: Xinhua| 2018-07-04 10:13:42|Editor: mmm
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MOSCOW, July 3 (Xinhua) -- England won their first penalty shootout in World Cup history in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow as they beat Colombia 4-3 on penalties here on Tuesday.

The teams were locked at 1-1 after 90 minutes. England will face Sweden in the quarterfinals on July 7 in Samara and the winner of that match will face either Russia or Croatia on July 11.

England substitute Eric Dier scored the winning penalty for England, after Colombia's fourth penalty kick hit the crossbar and the fifth one was palmed away by England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

England's penalty was saved by Colombia's David Ospina. Colombia's star player and the Golden Boot winner at the 2014 World Cup James Rodriguez, was kept on the bench throughout the match due to an injury.

Tuesday's match marked the sixth clash between Colombia and England, with England victorious on three previous occasions and drawing with Colombia twice. England coach Gareth Southgate fielded the same starting lineup as the side's opener against Tunisia in the group phase, playing a 3-5-2 formation.

The Three Lions launched fast attacks from the very beginning and created a few threats through some early set pieces, but their efforts were largely blocked by the Colombian side. The first real chance for England came in the 16th minute, when captain Harry Kane, received a Kieran Trippier cross from the right, headed towards a half-empty net, but sent the ball over the crossbar.

Meanwhile, Colombia's attempts to launch counter attacks were also in vain in front of England's defense. Kane opened the scoring for England in the 57th minute by successfully converting a penalty after being fouled inside the box by Colombia's Carlos Sanchez.

It was the 24-year-old's sixth goal at the tournament, which further extended the England captain's lead in the Golden Boot race.

Yerry Mina's header after a Juan Cuadrado corner leveled the score for the South American side in the 93rd minute, taking the game into extra time. After an intense but goalless 30-minute period, the game was forced into a penalty shootout where England triumphed for the first time at football's biggest event.

"We didn't materialize our football as we wanted. There were so many interruptions in the game. Far too many interruptions. So if a team wants to play a certain style, those interruptions are not favorable. That has not been good for us, and hurt us a lot," said Colombian coach Jose Pekerman at a post-match press conference. He added that it didn't mean England had not done well.

"They were a good team. Colombia are also good. We have a lot of virtues contending at the World Cup," the coach said.

Tuesday's match saw a total of 36 fouls. Eight yellow cards were given, with six to Colombian players, two to English players. England captain Kane, who was chosen as Man of the Match, said that it was unlucky for them to concede a corner and allow the Colombians to level the score in stoppage time.

"But we didn't let this affect us. We still know we have extra time; we still have a penalty shootout to win this game. It showed our togetherness and character," he said.

"It's a big night for England," said the captain. England coach Gareth Southgate said that his team deserved the victory. "We showed resilience to come back from huge disappointment and kept calm. It's huge credit to all our players and staff," he said.

He is already thinking of their next match. "Now I'm thinking about Sweden. They are another team we have a poor record against. We have underestimated them for years," Southgate said. A total of 44,190 spectators attended the match at the Spartak Stadium. It was also the last World Cup fixture at this stadium.