England finally come to the penalty-party, beating Columbia and progressing to the quarterfinals of the World Cup
It was 12 long years that the Three Lions had gone without winning a knockout game at a major tournament but managed to hold off Columbia and deny the naysayers regarding their penalty-taking track-record. They now find themselves facing Sweden in Samara on Saturday for a place in the semi-finals.
England largely controlled a bad-tempered first half which continuously escalated as Colombia did their best to provoke their opponents.
It was Harry Kane who had the best chance of the first half when he narrowly missed the target after Tottenham teammate, Kieran Trippier, found him unmarked at the far post.
As the halftime break loomed closer, Colombia almost found themselves reduced to 10 men when Wilmar Barrios aimed a headbutt at Jordan Henderson as they formed a wall against a free kick. One of their coaches also caused a scene after the halftime whistle as he attempted to barge Raheem Sterling out of the way.
Within 12 minutes after the restart, Jose Peckerman’s side was finally penalised for their indiscipline when Carlos Sanchez brought down Kane instead of attempting to defend a set piece. Colombia tried their utmost to distract Kane by delaying the spot kick and even attempting to scuff up the penalty spot. The England captain was having none of it and thumped the ball down the middle of the goal as David Ospina dived to his right.
Columbia's Juan Cuadrado blazed over following an error by Kyle Walker with 10 minutes remaining but eventually managed an equaliser in the third minute of injury time.
Jordan Pickford produced a miraculous save for England to deny Mateus Uribe’s long-range attempt but the resulting corner found Yerry Mina's head and over the goal line.
Extra time was a game of two halves, with Columbia dominating the first period and England the second, but, unable to carve out any clear-cut opportunities, the contest entered the dreaded shootout.
Southgate’s team was on the brink of defeat when Ospina saved Jordan Henderson’s effort but successive misses from Columbia's Uribe, who hit the bar, and Carlos Bacca, whose effort was brilliantly kept out by Pickford, allowed Eric Dier the chance to put England into the last eight.