PV Sports Desk : England finally shook off their penalties curse when they beat Colombia 4-3 in a shootout on Tuesday after drawing their World Cup last-16 clash 1-1 following extra time after the South Americans had equalised in the 93rd minute.
However, Colombia’s Mateus Uribe then hit the bar and Jordan Pickford saved from Carlos Bacca, leaving Eric Dier to score the decisive penalty and earn a quarter-final against Sweden while denying the Colombians a second straight run to the last eight.
England’s first knockout victory since 2006 was particularly sweet for coach Gareth Southgate, whose shootout miss decided the Euro ’96 semi-final, and vindicated – just – his decision to field a second-string side in the final group game defeat by Belgium to secure an easier route towards the final.
He should also be given credit for insisting his players practice penalties, even bringing in a psychologist to help them, after a succession of his predecessors wrote the whole process off as a lottery beyond their control.
Southgate described the win as fantastic, adding: “I think we deserved it as well. We showed incredible resilience to come back from huge disappointment at the final whistle and keep our calm. It’s a special moment for us.”