first_imgEngland defeated Colombia 4-3 in a shootout to set up a quarter-final against Sweden in World Cup 2018.Mateus Uribe and Carlos Bacca failed to convert for Colombia as Eric Dier slotted home the winning penalty for EnglandIt was the first time Colombia had been involved in a World Cup shootout and they took first blood when Jordan Henderson missed his spot kick – but for once fortune smiled on England.It is the furthest England has progressed in any tournament since the David Beckham era, when a golden generation of players exited the 2002 and 2006 World Cups in the last eight.Colombia vs England: HIGHLIGHTSEarlier Harry Kane smashed in a 57th-minute penalty, his sixth goal of the tournament, and England looked to be through until Yerry Mina headed an equaliser in the third minute of stoppage time.Colombia’s hopes suffered a huge setback before kickoff when key playmaker James Rodriguez was ruled out with a calf injury and without him they took a defensive approach and never rarely threatened. England were always the more purposeful side but they lacked the key final ball and needed a gift to take the lead.2018 FIFA WORLD CUP: FULL COVERAGEThe South Americans had been getting away with blatant holding and wrestling at each of England’s many corners and the referee’s patience finally snapped when Carlos Sanchez hauled down tournament leading scorer Kane once too often.After four minutes of mayhem as the Colombians protested, Kane kept his cool and smashed in his third spot kick of Russia 2018.advertisementIn the stoppage time, England keeper Jordan Pickford made a superb save to touch wide a furious long shot by Uribe but from the following corner – Colombia’s first of the match – giant defender Mina rose highest to head in the equaliser and send the massed Colombian fans into a frenzy.Earlier, Emil Forsberg’s deflected goal gave Sweden a 1-0 victory over Switzerland, sending them through to the World Cup quarter-finals.Both teams were wasteful in possession and guilty of the sort of poor finishing and unimaginative midfield play that had boos and whistles ringing around the St Petersburg stadium from as early as the 25th minute.Switzerland came into the match as the side with arguably the greater wealth of attacking talent, but their four shots on target over the 90 minutes told its own story.Sweden vs Switzerland: HIGHLIGHTSSweden had one attempt fewer on target, with the only difference being that one effort took a heavy deflection and wrong-footed Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer to send the Swedes into the next round.The Swedes were happy to pack midfield as they have done for the entire tournament and shepherd the Swiss down the wings, surrendering possession while looking to pinch a goal on the counter.Both teams had opportunity to open the scoring in the first-half but none of them could capitalise.Marcus Berg forced a fine save from Sommer in the 27th minute while Blerim Dzemaili wasted Switzerland’s best chance when he fired over from 12 metres.The second half started in a similarly stultifying manner, with the game looking like it was inching inevitably towards extra time and potentially a penalty shootout.But it all changed in the 66th minute as Forsberg’s shot which was directed straight at Sommer deflected off Manuel Akanji past his stranded keeper.Switzerland sparked into life after going behind, but Sweden defended stoutly, making 33 clearances and nine blocks in total, while completing fewer than half the number of passes that their opponents did.England break penalty shootout droughtIt was for the first time that England won a penalty shootout in a World Cup match. They had lost all three earlier penalty shootouts.With Pickford saving Bacca’s penalty, he became the first English goalkeeper to save a penalty in a penalty shoot-out at a major tournament since David Seaman at World Cup 1998 against Argentina. Seaman had denied Hernan Crespo that day in Saint-Ettiene. But, Argentina won the match 4-3 on penalties.READ FULL STORY Kane sets new goalscoring recordWith his 57th minute goal against Colombia, Kane became the first England player to score in his first three World Cup matches. He’s also the first Englishman to score in six consecutive international matches since Tommy Lawton in 1939.Mina matches Paul BreitnerThe goal against England was Mina’s third in this World Cup. He has now equalled the World Cup record for most goals by a defender in a single World Cup, which was set by Germany’s Paul Breitner in 1974.advertisementThe stoppage time goal was also the 99th goal scored after the 90th minute in World Cup history. On the other hand, it was the first time England conceded a goal in the stoppage time in a World Cup match.Pickford’s homework comes in handyPickford said he had done his homework to try not to follow a succession of England goalkeepers to walk off the loser after a shootout.”I did all my research. I’ve got power and agility. I don’t care if I’m not the biggest keeper because it’s about being there in the moment and making the save and I was,” Pickford said.”It’s all about the set position and I got a hand to it. We knew we had this game, even if it had to go to penalties, we knew we were capable of winning.”Dier says England never panicked Eric Dier said England just kept calm and didn’t panic as his successful penalty helped England beat Colombia.”To get knocked down like we did is difficult to come back from it,” Dier said after Yerry Mina had equalised for the Colombians in stoppage time to force the match into goalless extra time.”We knew what we had to do and we stayed calm,” he added after the 4-3 shootout win. “We never panicked. We were ready for that.”Forsberg terms his goal the biggest of his careerSweden’s goal scorer Forsberg was on the seventh heaven after leading his team into the quarter-finals.”It’s the biggest goal of my career, one of the biggest moments in my career too. To experience this, to fire Sweden into the quarter-finals together with this group, it feels fantastic,” said Forsberg.READ FULL STORYForsberg’s goal was scored on his 14th shot in this World Cup. No player in this edition has had more without scoring.Swedish coach praises his teamJanne Andersson said his team’s work ethics has helped them reach the quarter-finals.”This team personifies the approach we all share – we work for each other on and off the pitch, and I’m incredibly happy that it’s paying off,” Andersson told reporters. The Swedes have now seen off Netherlands from their qualifying group, Italy in a playoff, Germany at the group stage and Switzerland in the last 16, leading to questions about whether other nations have underestimated Andersson and his men.”I think you’d have to ask everyone else that question. We know we are a good team, that we’ve earned our successes – we know how we got this far,” the 55-year-old explained.”We’ve worked this way throughout, we’re continuing the same way, and what other teams and countries think about that is not terribly interesting.”Sweden win brings an end to a 24-year waitSweden have reached the quarter-finals of a World Cup for the first time since 1994, when the team reached the semi-finals.READ FULL STORYThis is also the first time since 1958 that the European nation won back-to-back matches in a World Cup. In their previous match they had defeated Mexico 3-0 in the Group F match.advertisementThe match against Switzerland was Sweden’s 50th at the World Cup finals. Only Mexico (57) have played more matches than them without ever winning the tournament.(With Reuters inputs)last_img

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