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England beat Colombia 4-3 on penalties | Coastweek
MOSCOW Russia (Xinhua) -- Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford of England misses a penalty kick by Colombia's Juan Cuadrado during the penalty shootout of the 2018 FIFA World Cup round of 16 match between England and Colombia in Moscow, Russia, July 3, 2018. England won 5-4 (4-3 in penalty shootout) and advanced to the quarter-final. XINHUA PHOTO - HE CANLING

England beat Colombia 4-3 on penalties
to reach World Cup quarterfinals

MOSCOW Russia (Xinhua) -- England won their first penalty shootout in World Cup history in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow as they beat Colombia 4-3 on penalties here on Tuesday.

The teams were locked at 1-1 after 90 minutes. England will face Sweden in the quarterfinals on July 7 in Samara and the winner of that match will face either Russia or Croatia on July 11.

England substitute Eric Dier scored the winning penalty for England, after Colombia’s fourth penalty kick hit the crossbar and the fifth one was palmed away by England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

England’s penalty was saved by Colombia’s David Ospina. Colombia’s star player and the Golden Boot winner at the 2014 World Cup James Rodriguez, was kept on the bench throughout the match due to an injury.

Tuesday’s match marked the sixth clash between Colombia and England, with England victorious on three previous occasions and drawing with Colombia twice. England coach Gareth Southgate fielded the same starting lineup as the side’s opener against Tunisia in the group phase, playing a 3-5-2 formation.

The Three Lions launched fast attacks from the very beginning and created a few threats through some early set pieces, but their efforts were largely blocked by the Colombian side. The first real chance for England came in the 16th minute, when captain Harry Kane, received a Kieran Trippier cross from the right, headed towards a half-empty net, but sent the ball over the crossbar.

Meanwhile, Colombia’s attempts to launch counter attacks were also in vain in front of England’s defense. Kane opened the scoring for England in the 57th minute by successfully converting a penalty after being fouled inside the box by Colombia’s Carlos Sanchez.

It was the 24-year-old’s sixth goal at the tournament, which further extended the England captain’s lead in the Golden Boot race.

Yerry Mina’s header after a Juan Cuadrado corner leveled the score for the South American side in the 93rd minute, taking the game into extra time. After an intense but goalless 30-minute period, the game was forced into a penalty shootout where England triumphed for the first time at football’s biggest event.

“We didn’t materialize our football as we wanted. There were so many interruptions in the game. Far too many interruptions. So if a team wants to play a certain style, those interruptions are not favorable. That has not been good for us, and hurt us a lot,” said Colombian coach Jose Pekerman at a post-match press conference. He added that it didn’t mean England had not done well.

“They were a good team. Colombia are also good. We have a lot of virtues contending at the World Cup,” the coach said.

Tuesday’s match saw a total of 36 fouls. Eight yellow cards were given, with six to Colombian players, two to English players. England captain Kane, who was chosen as Man of the Match, said that it was unlucky for them to concede a corner and allow the Colombians to level the score in  stoppage time.

“But we didn’t let this affect us. We still know we have extra time; we still have a penalty shootout to win this game. It showed our togetherness and character,” he said.

“It’s a big night for England,” said the captain. England coach Gareth Southgate said that his team deserved the victory. “We showed resilience to come back from huge disappointment and kept calm. It’s huge credit to all our players and staff,” he said.

He is already thinking of their next match. “Now I’m thinking about Sweden. They are another team we have a poor record against. We have underestimated them for years,” Southgate said. A total of 44,190 spectators attended the match at the Spartak Stadium. It was also the last World Cup fixture at this stadium.



England players have created their own history, says coach Gareth Southgate

MOSCOW Russia (Xinhua) -- England coach Gareth Southgate told reporters on Tuesday that his men have created their own history and the team wanted to win more after their victory over Colombia in the World Cup.

England won the World Cup round of 16 game at the Spartak Stadium as they beat Colombia 4-3 on penalties to reach the quarterfinals. The score was 1-1 after 90 minutes. It is the first time that England has won a penalty shootout in World Cup history.

Southgate said at the post-match press conference that the victory was a really important moment. “Not just winning the shootout but having to suffer at the end of the game in a stadium there were huge numbers of Colombian fans and we felt like an away fixture. Tonight, we showed we don’t have to conform to what’s gone before. We have created our own history, and I don’t want to go home yet,” he said.

Southgate also hopes the result will give belief to “generations of [English] players that will follow.” The coach revealed that his team has prepared for a penalty shootout situation.

“We’d talked about owning the process, and we got the rewards tonight. We looked at individual techniques and how we needed to be as a team. The goalkeepers have been very important in that as well,” the 47-year-old coach said.

After defeating Colombia, England will face Sweden in the quarterfinals on July 7 in Samara, and winners of that match will play either Russia or Croatia on July 11.

Southgate said the match against Sweden will be difficult. “Sweden is another team we have a poor record against, who we’ve underestimated in the past. We know exactly how they play and it’s going to be a real tough test,” he told the press.


Colombia coach “uncomfortable” with referee’s performance

MOSCOW Russia (Xinhua) -- Colombia coach Jose Nestor Pekerman told reporters on Tuesday that it’s difficult for him to accept being knocked out of the World Cup by England. He also said the referee’s decisions in their round of 16 clash made the match “uncomfortable” for him.

Colombia drew 1-1 with England in the 2018 World Cup at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow and lost the match 3-4 on penalties. In the 57th minute, England were awarded a penalty because of a Colombian player’s foul inside the box and Harry Kane opened the scoring for England by successfully converting the penalty. Yerry Mina scored for Colombia in the 93rd minute to send the match into extra-time.

At the post-match press conference, Pekerman expressed his anger at the referee’s decisions and the performance of the England players. “It was uncomfortable to play this match knowing the feelings about the referee’s decisions. There was a lot of confusion on the pitch today”, said Pekerman.

The Argentine also criticized England’s players. “A player faked being fouled because he was pushed by the opponent and they tried to let the referee book another player. We saw [this kind of thing] over and over again,” he said.

Pekerman praised Colombia team’s performance in Tuesday’s match. “This was a brave team that has fought hard and has progressed. We’ve never thrown in the towel when facing an opponent. We’ve had the right attitude and mindset. We really hoped we could progress to the quarterfinals because we fought since we started,” he said.

After a 120-minute draw, the two sides went to a penalty shootout. Colombia’s fourth kick hit the crossbar and the fifth one was palmed away by the England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. England successfully converted four penalties and had one stopped by David Ospina.

Pekerman said it’s “very difficult to accept” the elimination. “A team like us progressed so much [but we] just needed a little luck because a penalty shootout needs luck. That’s why I was hurt but also moved because my players deserved to win tonight and to advance to the quarterfinals,” he added.

The Colombian top star, James Rodriguez, didn’t play in the fixture and Pekerman told reporters that his absence was “decisive”.


“Go Kane” UK tabloid headline causes World Cup controversy

MOSCOW Russia (Xinhua) -- British tabloid newspaper The Sun provoked controversy on Tuesday, with a front cover poking fun at Colombia’s reputation as the world’s leading producer of cocaine.

England face Colombia in Moscow on Tuesday night for a place in the quarterfinals of the FIFA World Cup, and The Sun, which has a long history of provocative and jingoistic front pages, published a photo of England striker Harry Kane, along with the headline: “As the 3 Lions face the nation that gave the world Shakira, great coffee ad other stuff, we say GO KANE!”

While the words “Go Kane” may at first sight seem like a battle cry to cheer on the England striker, who has five goals already in the tournament, it does also sound suspiciously like “cocaine” and the headline has not been well received in Colombia, where 25 percent of all intentional homicides between 1994 and 2008 were drug-related.

Colombian TV network Caracol TV described the headline as “rude”, while the El Espectador newspaper said “Colombia’s reply will be on the pitch.”

Tuesday’s headline is the latest in a long list of offensive comments by the newspaper, which has in the past mocked a speech impediment by former England boss Roy Hodgson, used England’s 2010 World Cup group stage opponents (England, Algeria, Slovenia and “Yanks”) to spell out “EASY”, and which in 2016 was accused by the European Commission on Racism and Intolerance of “fuelling prejudice” and the use of “offensive, discriminatory and provocative terminology.” 



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