Internationals

Match Report: Colombia 1-1 England (3-4 pens)

England won a penalty shootout for the first time in the World Cup and a knockout match in a major competition for the first time since 2006, after they beat Colombia in the most dramatic and stressful matches imaginable..

Eric Dier scored the winning spot kick after it looked almost over for England, after Colombia lead on spot kicks 3-2 after Henderson’s penalty was superbly saved. But after Uribe missed, Trippier scored and Pickford saved Bacca’s penalty it gave Dier the opportunity, where his penalty snuck through Ospina’s hand to give England a historic win…

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First Half

England nmade nine changes from the rotated, weakened team that lost to Belgium and had the first decent opportunity of the match when Kane headed over at the back post. It was a first half that was controlled by England who had far more of the possession but failed to create too much with it.

The main talking point of the first half was when Wilmar Barrios  headbutted Henderson’s chest before moving his head up to headbutt Henderson’s chin inside the box as England prepared for a free-kick. The referee strangely deemed it as only worthy of a yellow card and didn’t check VAR, much to many people’s shock.

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Lingard fired over in first half stoppage time before Sterling was barged as he left the pitch by Colombia’s fitness trainer Julio Urtasun. Colombia’s plan was clear, to try and get in England’s heads and provoke a reaction…

Second Half

Just eight minutes in to the second half, England were handed a fantastic chance to gain the lead when Harry Kane yet again was wrestled to the ground and the ref pointed to the spot. With Colombia clearly trying to delay the penalty as much as possible and clear attempting to scuff up the penalty spot, Harry Kane slotted coolly down the middle with a the Three Lions led…

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In the last 20 minutes it was backs to the wall for England as Colombia began to attack non stop putting England under lots of pressure. Juan Cuadrado blazing overe after Bacca dispossessed Kyle Walker was Colombia’s only chance until stoppage time.

Pickford then made a brilliant save to deny a speculative shot from Uribe in the third minute of stoppage as time but Mina rose above Harry Maguire to head in the resulting corner to send the game to extra-time and broke Englands’s hearts.

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Extra Time and Penalties

There were very few chances in Extra Time as both sides began to get prepared for penalties. Colombia had the best chance in the first half of extra time when Falcao headed wide. But Dier had a great chance to win it for England in the second half of extra time, but he headed over when unmarked.

So to the dreaded penalties. Falcao got Colombia off to the best possible start when he comfortably struck his in. But Kane responded when he coolly put his penalty in the bottom left corner.

Cuadrado regained Colombia’s lead before Rashford pulled it level again, thanks to his great penalty in the same corner as Harry Kane’s.

Luis Muriel made no mistake to put the South Americans back in front but then came the moment every England fan dreaded. Henderson in truth struck his penalty well but Ospina superbly kept it out.

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But there was another twist to this crazy game as Uribe blasted his effort against the underside of the bar before Trippier scored his to take it to sudden death.

A big left hand from Pickford then kept out Bacca’s fierce effort – leaving Dier to stroke past the outstretched glove of Ospina to spark emotional and jubilant scenes from England.

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Final Thoughts

This is no doubt a massive moment for England, in this tournament as well as future ones. England survived a night of nerves to write off any records about penalty failures and failures in the knockout stages. It was a very positive night for England as they recovered well from conceding late on and take the game to penalties. And for large parts of the game controlled it against a good country in Colombia.

The Three Lions now look to Saturday where they play their biggest match in over a decade against Sweden at 3pm on Saturday where they’ll be looking to reach a first World Cup semi final since 1990.

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