Jordan Pickford was the hero as England reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup after a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Columbia, their first at a World Cup finals.
It seemed as if Harry Kane’s 57th-minute penalty was enough for England as they were in search of their first knockout win in a major tournament since 2006. However, Barcelona’s Yerry Mina equalised for Los Cafeteros on the 93rd minute and sent the game to extra time.
England started the game with speed and swagger as they attacked from the off, however, Columbia’s defensive partnership of Mina and Tottenham Hotspur’s Davidson Sanchez were able to keep England’s attacking threats at bay during the first half.
Columbia adopted a physical style of play, at times disrupting England rhythm with forceful challenges. The most contentious moment of the first half was an altercation between Jordan Henderson and Wilmar Barriors as the Columbian midfielder appeared to headbutt the Liverpool captain, he escaped with just a yellow card to the surprise of just about everyone.
Columbia’s tactics eventually caught up with them as England were awarded a penalty on the 57th minute as Kane was wrestled to the floor by Carlos Sanchez, the Spurs striker made no mistake as he became only the second English man to hit six goals at a World Cup behind Gary Lineker. The Columbians were sorely missing their talisman James Rodriguez who was unable to recover in time after limping off against Senegal in their last game.
Columbia’s chase for an equaliser went to the 93rd minute where Mina out jumped all of the England defence to power a header past Jordan Pickford and Kieran Tripper on the line of the goal, extra time was then required to separate the teams.
There was a sense of familiarity for England, as neither team could find a winner in extra time penalties were required.
Both teams started perfectly as both captains Radamel Falcao and Harry Kane scored their respective penalties, Cuadrado and Rashford both went second and both expertly slotted past Pickford and Ospina respectfully.
Luis Muriel put Columbia up 3-2 in the shootout before Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson had his penalty saved putting Columbia on the brink. However, substitute Uribe had his effort come off the bar, as Tripper put his penalty in the roof of the net.
Carlos Bacca was up next for Columbia, but his effort was brilliantly saved by the trailing arm of Jordan Pickford. Eric Dier stepped up next, the pressure of a nation of his shoulders. The Tottenham Hotspur man did not disappoint as he dispatched his penalty into the bottom corner of the goal.
England’s first ever penalty shoot-out victory means they will now play Sweden at the Samara Arena this Saturday for a chance to reach their first World Cup semi-final since 1990.