England shakes its penalties curse and saves its World Cup

Posted by News Express | 4 July 2018 | 998 times

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•Harry Kane scored on a penalty in the 57th minute.

Of course it went to penalties. It always goes to penalties.

And of course everyone expected England to lose. Because England always loses when it goes to penalties.

It has become something of a theme. Or a curse. 1990. 1996. 1998. 2004. 2006. 2012. Six major tournaments in 22 years (including the European Championship), and England, brimming with high hopes and big-name players, going out in the cruelest possible way.

But this a new England, they say: a team of young players with smiles on their faces and a spring in their step and the belief that it doesn’t always have to be the way it has always been.

And this England does not lose on penalties. At least it did not on Tuesday night, outlasting a game and rugged Colombia, 4-3, in a shootout after the teams played to a 1-1 tie.

“There’s been a lot about this being a young team,” England’s Harry Kane said. “We’ve grown up a lot out there on that pitch tonight.”

Midfielder Eric Dier delivered the final blow, slamming his attempt into the lower left corner under goalkeeper David Ospina after Colombia failed to convert its last two attempts. England’s goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford, had set the stage by pawing away Carlos Bacca’s fifth attempt for Colombia with a dive to his right.

Kane, Marcus Rashford and Kieran Trippier also converted for England in the shootout, sparing Jordan Henderson from a lifetime of ignominy after his penalty, England’s third, was saved by Ospina.

The result came so quickly — a miss, then a make — and was in many ways so unexpected given England’s history that its players did not seem to know what to do. Dier peeled off to his right, eventually collapsing under a pile of teammates. Trippier seemed caught in some in-between, jumping in place next to the pile as the England reserves raced past him to dive on their teammates.

It wasn’t pretty, and it shouldn’t have come down to it, but England advanced to the World Cup quarterfinals on Tuesday after defeating Colombia in a penalty shootout, after the two teams ended 120 minutes even 1-1. After being eliminated from the 1990, 1998 and 2006 World Cups on penalties, England converted four of their five kicks to top the Colombians.

England was better for most of the match, and took the lead on a 57th minute Harry Kane goal. Kane converted his third penalty of the match after he was tackled in the box. But just two minutes from time, as England was dreaming of their first quarterfinals appearance since 2006, Yerry Mina struck. The Barcelona defender scored his third header of the World Cup after a 93rd minute corner kick.

Source: News Express

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