England finally broke their penalty shootout hoodoo at a major tournament against Colombia, defeating the South Americans 4-3 on penalties after being held to a 1-1 draw.
The Three Lions have not been in the knockout round since their loss to Germany at South Africa 2010, but they dominated against dangerous Colombia who were quarter-finalists at Brazil 2014 and could only tame the English Lions deep into added time.
England showed more determination and went close on four minutes through Ashley Young’s free-kick which Ospina punched away. Colombia, without their influential playmaker, James Rodriguez, endured an insipid first half in which their best opportunity was Quintero’s snapshot in the last minute of the first half which was well held by Pickford.
England finished the half stronger, with opportunities for Harry Kane, Kieran Trippier, and Jesse Lingard.
The breakthrough came from Harry Kane’s penalty in the 57th minute. Carlos Sanchez, who saw a red card for a handball in Colombia’s 2-1 loss to Japan was again the guilty party, dragging Kane down while the England captain was trying to get on the end of a corner kick. Kane, the tournament’s highest goalscorer dispatched the spot-kick to extend his goals tally to six in Russia. Colombia’s finally came to life in the closing stages, Cuadrado blasting shot high and wide in the 81st minute. There was still time for drama in added time for Colombia to equalise. Matheus Uribe’s volley from distance needed a sprawling save from Pickford, and from the resulting corner, Yeri Mina rose highest to make the game 1-1 with a powerful header- his third of the tournament to equal Miroslav Klose’s 2006 record for goals scored with the head- and take it into extra time.
Chances were few in the thirty minutes of extra time and the best fell to England in the second period, Danny Rose’s shot trickling just wide of the far post as the game went into the lottery of penalty kicks.
England have not won on penalties in three attempts, and it was fourth time lucky for Gareth Southgate’s boys who won 4-3 on penalties, Harry Kane converted the first England kick, Jordan Pickford saved from Bacca and Uribe missed, while Henderson was the only English player to miss his penalty as England finally celebrated a win on the lottery of penalty kicks.
England will face Sweden in the quarter-finals on Saturday.