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03rd Jul 2018

England beat Colombia on penalties to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup

Wayne Farry

It may very well actually be coming home

England have qualified for the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup after defeating Colombia on penalties in their round of 16 game.

Gareth Southgate’s side came into the game as slight favourites, but would have been wary of a side which had won its final two group games – against Poland and Senegal – with a stylish brand of football.

Those worries were well-founded, to a degree at least, but it was England who started the strongest and looked the better side throughout the first 90 minutes.

Their breakthrough came less than 10 minutes into the second half, when Harry Kane was hauled down in the box by Carlos Sanchez.

The Colombians protested, but the American referee rightly rebuffed them, and Kane coolly slotted away the penalty.

Indeed, it appeared as if this would prove enough to take them through for the majority of the game, before one moment of absent-mindedness rendered what came before it moot.

It was the 94th minute and England had defended defiantly for 94 minutes. Colombia were then awarded a corner, which Yerry Mina headed in off the head of Kieran Trippier.

Extra-time came and Colombia were the better side, the game suddenly flipped from normal time, with England looking jaded.

Extra-time passed and then it happened.

It went to penalties.

Falcao scored first, giving Colombia the lead.

Harry Kane stepped up, and England went breathless, until he put it away like he does.

Juan Cuadrado was next and his was as good as Kane’s but higher. Colombia ahead again.

Next was Rashford. Just like Kane he nailed the bottom corner with it.

Luis Muriel – Colombia’s third taker – slid his past Pickford next. 3-2.

Henderson missed, but so did Uribe. Still 3-2.

Kieran Trippier stepped up and put it away with aplomb.


Then it happened.

Eric Dier. You beauty.

England are through. ON PENALTIES!

With this victory over Colombia, England’s path to the final – though by no means a foregone conclusion – is certainly a less daunting proposition than they would have ever imagined.

Facing Sweden in the quarter-finals, England will – providing they are victorious – face one of either Russia or Croatia in the semi-finals.

Croatia’s group stage performances will likely mean England will be hoping to face the hosts, though a match against Modric and co. will give the Three Lions the opportunity to avenge the 2011 Wembley defeat which stopped them from qualifying for Euro 2012.