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11th Jul 2018

Nobody enjoyed Kieran Trippier’s stunning free-kick more than Jordan Pickford

What a reaction!

Darragh Murphy

Only two English players have ever scored from a direct free-kick in a World Cup knockout game.

The first was David Beckham and, on Wednesday night, Trippier became the second by opening the scoring for the Three Lions just five minutes into their World Cup semi-final clash with Croatia.

Trippier beautifully sailed the ball beyond the flailing Danijel Subasic to give Gareth Southgate’s side the perfect start to their first World Cup semi-final in 28 years.

And while the Spurs full-back ran to the corner flag to celebrate with the nine other outfield players who sprinted after him in jubilation, Jordan Pickford was left alone in his half.

But that didn’t do anything to dampen the goalkeeper’s mood as he celebrated as raucously as anyone on the pitch or in the stands.

The replays of the goal showed Pickford pumping his fists and roaring as if he’d found the net himself.

Trippier has been compared to Beckham throughout the World Cup due to his ability from dead ball situations and while he’s laughed off his new nickname of ‘The Bury Beckham’, he has acknowledged that Beckham was an influence in his development, as well as Gary Neville.

“Loads of people have been saying that but I’m nowhere near Beckham’s qualities,” Trippier said ahead of Wednesday’s game.

“He was a fantastic deliverer of the ball. He scored so many free-kicks and created so much throughout his career. All I can do is keep doing the best I can and every opportunity I get I’ll try to put balls in like David Beckham.”