Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Exhausted, stressed, elated - England fans respond to night of high drama

England-Colombia GETTY England vs Colombia The Three Lions have not won a knockout game since 2006
Frederick Owens | 04 July, 2018, 19:45

Hodgson's team failed to reach the knockout phase of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil but did qualify for the last 16 of the Euros, where they faced tournament debutants Iceland in Nice.

England will next play Sweden in the quarterfinals on Saturday in Samara.

"It was a night where I knew we'd get over the line".

Mina, 23, signed for the Catalan giants from Palmeiras in January, but only appeared five times for them in the back half of the season. It's shameful that this happens in the round of 16 of a World Cup'.

"It was nice to get that one off our backs", Kane said.

Joe O'Neill, 27, of Hastings, who was cheering on his home nation - winners of the 1966 World Cup - from the Luna Beach Cinema big screen in Brighton, said: "I thought it was all over just before Colombia scored". England have actually won a game on penalties at the World Cup in Russian Federation, and fans of the Three Lions have got one guy in particular to thank for it. Colombia must beat England to remain in the tournament and defeat on Tuesday will mean elimination.

"If they hadn't stolen that goal we would be in the quarter finals", he added, referring to the penalty awarded in normal time to England captain Harry Kane for manhandling in the box. As they contemplated 30 minutes of extra time, Southgate huddled his young squad together and encouraged them to press the reset button.

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But in the third minute of stoppage time, Colombia defender Yerry Mina headed home to take the game into extra time and then to penalties.


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England's victory over Colombia on Tuesday will be remembered by their fans for the nerve-jangling breaking of their penalty shootout hoodoo but it was also the night when numerous doubts and questions over Gareth Southgate's side were answered.

One mocking meme showed male officials at the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) headquarters distracted by images of Colombian women in the crowd, instead of watching the game. Because if you're going to win a World Cup, statistics will tell you that you'll have to get through one round on penalties.

There were a number of controversial incidents in a tetchy, foul-strewn game, with a particular flashpoint coming when Colombian midfielder Wilmar Barrios headbutted Jordan Henderson but escaped with a yellow card.

"We are getting smarter, and maybe played by the same rules as the rest of the world", Southgate said.

Mr Clarke, from Chilwell in Nottingham, who also travelled out for the three group games, said: "I came here on Sunday on a one-way ticket until we win it - or we not winning it".

England were always the more purposeful side but they lacked the key final ball and needed a gift to take the lead.

Substitute Danny Rose nearly struck an extra-time victor when his angled shot whistled beyond the far post, and Eric Dier headed over unmarked at a corner before England's luck deserted them again in all too familiar fashion.

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