England have snapped one of the most famous football ‘curses’ in history after prevailing in a penalty shootout for the first time at a World Cup.
Eric Dier scored the decisive spot-kick as England won a World Cup penalty shoot-out for the first time in this their fourth attempt, edging past Colombia 4-3 to set up a quarter-final against Sweden.
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Harry Kane’s sixth goal of the World Cup appeared enough to secure England’s first knockout win at a major tournament in 12 years, the Three Lions captain scoring from the spot after he was fouled by Carlos Sanchez.
But Colombia took the last-16 tie into extra-time with a dramatic equaliser in the 93rd minute in Moscow on Tuesday, Yerry Mina climbing highest in the box to score a head in Juan Cuadrado’s corner.
In the shoot-out, David Ospina plunged to his left to keep out Jordan Henderson’s poor penalty and give Colombia the advantage, but Mateus Uribe struck the crossbar and Jordan Pickford denied Carlos Bacca brilliantly to give Dier the chance to win it for the Three Lions.
And the substitute kept his nerve, Dier drilling home his spot-kick even though Ospina dived the right way, with England now set to take on Sweden on Saturday in Samara.
The South Americans were without James Rodriguez due to injury and could have had Wilmar Barrios sent off in the first half when he appeared to aim a headbutt into Henderson’s chest and chin.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 3, 2018
Harry Kane’s penalty against Colombia in the World Cup last-16 tie made him the first England player to score in six consecutive internationals since 1939.
Having been fouled by Carlos Sanchez, Kane – after a lengthy delay caused by Colombia’s protests to referee Mark Geiger – duly kept his cool to break the deadlock from 12 yards.
It brought up the Tottenham star’s sixth goal of the tournament, and also saw England’s captain equal Tommy Lawton’s 79-year-old record.
Kane’s strike also sees the 24-year-old match Lionel Messi’s total record of World Cup goals, on his debut at the tournament.