Moscow: England booked the last quarter-final berth in the FIFA World Cup 2018 on Tuesday after edging past Colombia in the penalty shootout in their round-of-16 tie in Moscow’s Spartak Stadium.
After a cagey first half that featured few chances, England took the lead through a second-half penalty from Harry Kane, after he was wrestled to the ground by Tottenham Hotspurs teammate Davinson Sanchez.
Kane made no mistake from the spot, firing past Arsenal keeper David Ospina for his sixth goal of the World Cup, two more than Romelu Lukaku in the race for the Golden Boot.
They came close again, although Dele Alli header over from close range after he was brilliantly picked up by a Kieran Trippier cross.
Colombia best chance to equalize came just beyond the 80-minute mark when Carlos Bacca robbed possession off Kyle Walker; however, Juan Cuadrado squandered the chance, only managing to fire over the bar.
Substitute Mateus Uribe then forced a magnificent save from Jordan Pickford in the second minute of added time, as his ambitious 30-yard strike was brilliantly kept out by the Everton keeper.
However, Colombia, looking set to be dumped out, would not be denied an equaliser as centre-back Yerry Mina’s rising header from the resulting corner forced 30 minutes of extra time.
The Three Lions had plenty of chances in the second half of added time, although they failed to convert any of them into a goal, with the game proceeding to the penalty shootout.
Following five successful penalties, Colombian keeper David Ospina saved Jordan Henderson’s take, piling the pressure on the English.
However, it was a Colombian who failed to hold his nerve as Uribe crashed his penalty against the crossbar. Kieran Trippier then converted from 12 yards before Carlos Bacca’s effort was saved by Jordan Pickford. Eric Dier stepped up for the decisive penalty, which he converted to win England its first penalty shootout in World Cup history.
England will now face Sweden in the quarterfinals on July 7. (ANI)