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England are through to the quarter-finals of World Cup 2018 after a nail-biting penalty shootout victory over Colombia

 England 4-3 Colombia on penalties
England won a World Cup penalty shootout for the first time on a night of high drama in Moscow, overcoming Colombia to secure a quarter-final meeting with Sweden.
England won on penalties, a draining 4-3 come-from-behind shoot-out that was its own drama, with its own arc of what felt like imminent failure before eventual rescue and triumph. This was their first shoot-out win since Euro ‘96, their first ever in a World Cup Eric Dier’s winning kick, skipping past the desperate hand of David Ospina, will be an immortal moment of English football history. So should Jordan Pickford’s save from Carlos Bacca that came just before it.
They actually did it! England has won a World Cup penalty shootout for the first time in their history. And it’s not just the World Cup where they’ve struggled in this regard — the shootout failure that sticks out most in the minds of fans is probably Euro ‘96, at home, when current manager Gareth Southgate missed the decisive spot kick.

England was well on top for most of the match, eventually earning a penalty in the 54th minute when Carlos Sanchez took down Harry Kane in the box, and Kane went on to convert from the spot.

But Colombia fought until the final whistle and scored a stoppage time equalizer. Jordan Pickford came up with an unbelievable save on a rocket of a shot by Santiago Arias, but the Colombians scored on the ensuing corner, with Yerry Mina rising up above everyone to head in a goal. 

Extra time was tense, but featured few clear-cut chances. As was almost certainly pre-determined by a higher power, England ended up in a penalty shootout. This time around, they came up clutch. Jordan Henderson had his penalty well saved by David Ospina, but Colombia missed twice — Mateus Uribe hit the crossbar and Carlos Bacca had his shot saved. Eric Dier scored the winning penalty, sending England to the quarterfinal.

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England vs. Colombia penalty shootout results

  • Radamel Falcao SCORES! Blasted past Pickford.
  • Harry Kane SCORES! He’s been incredible from the spot.
  • Juan Cuadrado SCORES! Also absolutely blasted it.
  • Marcus Rashford SCORES! Another rocket.
  • Luis Muriel SCORES! Fools Pickford, dribbler down the middle.
  • Jordan Henderson MISSES! Saved by David Ospina.
  • Mateus Uribe MISSES! He hits the crossbar!
  • Kieran Trippier SCORES! Picks out the top corner.
  • Carlos Bacca MISSES! Pickford comes up huge!
  • Eric Dier SCORES!
England wins the shootout, 4-3. 
No previous world champions stand between England and the final. The winners of their quarter-final will face either Croatia or hosts Russia for a place in the Moscow showpiece on 15 July.

England edge towards glory

Southgate's one-match-at-time mantra has been designed to keep expectations in check as his side have been presented with their best opportunity at a World Cup since they reached the semi-finals of Italia 90.

If he was listening to the England fans who gathered and sang non-stop late into the Moscow night behind the goal in the Spartak Stadium, it may have dawned on him that keeping a lid on expectations is likely to be a losing battle.

England will have taken a lot out of themselves in this physically gruelling and mentally taxing last-16 game and they now face the well-organised and resilient Swedes.

If they can overcome Sweden, the possibility of a semi-final meeting with Russia or Croatia comes into view.

England found a way to win here that has often eluded them, digging deep in the process - and they will have headed back to their Zelenogorsk training HQ in soaring spirits.

There is work to do, though, and this was not a flawless performance by any means, but England and Southgate have now regained the momentum they lost in their group-stage loss to Belgium and can look to build on that.

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