England banished their World Cup penalty shootout demons on Tuesday night against Colombia in the Round of 16. England went ahead thanks to a second half penalty kick from — who else? — Harry Kane, the Three Lions conceded a late goal in injury time thanks to a Yerry Mina header, endured 30 minutes of extra time, and went on to win only their second major tournament penalty shoot-out since 1990 behind blasts from Tottenham Hotspur’s Kane, Kieran Trippier, and Eric Dier.
England started three of the five Tottenham players — Kane, Trippier, and Dele Alli — but all five Spurs players ended up in the match after Danny Rose and Eric Dier came on as a late substitutes.
On balance of play, England were the better side over the course of the match. Colombia took advantage of some very questionable refereeing from American match official Mark Geiger and quickly turned the match into an ugly slug-fest. There were numerous examples of hard fouls and dirty play that went either uncalled or under-called. This was exemplified by two first half incidents, both involving head-butts. Colombia midfielder (and possible Tottenham Hotspur target) Wilmar Barrios head-butted Jordan Henderson while in the line before a free kick, but instead of going to VAR and determining if it was a red card (it was), he instead declined and gave Barrios a yellow.
Minutes later, Jordan Henderson was also involved in a minor head-butt that was caught by the cameras, but not by Geiger.
The match devolved into a series of arguments, yelling, and farcical play for the majority of regular time. But then in the second half, Harry Kane was hauled down in the box, and he cooly stepped up and slotted home the penalty to put England up 1-0. The goal was his sixth of this World Cup, which ties him with former Tottenham striker Gary Lineker for the England record for goals scored in a single World Cup competition. He can break that record this Saturday against Sweden.
But just as England thought they had it won, disaster struck as Yerry Mina headed home an equalizer in the 94th minute, and the match went on to extra time.
Colombia scaled back the Dark Arts and played football in extra time, but neither team could find the back of the net as their legs gave out. Danny Rose had the best chance with a low cross-goal shot that missed the far post by inches. Nothing came closer, and the match went to a penalty shootout.
Danny Rose comes so close to giving England the lead! pic.twitter.com/cujIk7s2bG— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 3, 2018
England converted penalties from Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford before Arsenal keeper David Ospina saved Jordan Henderson’s shot. England’s Jordan Pickford then made a miraculous stop of Mateus Uribe’s blast with his outstretched hand before Carlos Bacca fired his penalty off the underside of the bar and out. Eric Dier was the England hero, cooly slotting home and winning the match.
The win dispelled memories of heartbreak for the Three Lions, who had lost six of their past seven penalty shootouts in major tournaments, a streak going back to 1990. More importantly, it continues this young England team’s World Cup journey, and they should now be considered one of the favorites to head to the finals. England and their Tottenham Hotspur contingent of five now move on to face Sweden on Saturday in the quarterfinals.
- WHAT. A. MATCH. It was hide-behind-the-sofa kind of stuff if you were an England supporter, and even worse if you were a Tottenham fan.
- This was the first World Cup match where all five Tottenham Hotspur players played in a single game, though sadly not all at the same time as Rose and Dier came on after Dele was subbed off.
- Speaking of Dele, I don’t think he’s completely fit yet. He got nailed in the crotch and he wasn’t really the same afterwards, but I also don’t think he was up to his usual fitness either.
- Harry Kane was immense. His detractors will point out that none of his six goals were scored from the run of play (two headers, three penalties, and a lol shot off the back of his heel), but that would ignore his movement, passing, and hold-up play against Colombia, which was magnificent.
- Davinson Sanchez, playing for Colombia, was the best player on the pitch, full stop. He was absolutely incredible in defense, and Kane was kept (mostly) quiet because of his efforts. He was also one of the few Colombia players who wasn’t a raging jerk on the pitch, and actually was seen talking to his Spurs teammates and helping defuse the situations. Colombia’s loss will be crushing to him, but we should remember just how good he was today. That play will carry over into Tottenham’s new season.
- From a #banter perspective, all three Tottenham players scored their penalties, and the Liverpool guy (who should’ve been captain?) didn’t. Just sayin’.
- Kane needs six more goals to equal the all-time England World Cup goal scoring record. There is a non-zero percent chance that he could do it IN THIS WORLD CUP.
- FOOTBALL IS COMING HOME!