A member of Colombia’s coaching staff has been condemned over an ugly incident involving England’s Raheem Sterling at halftime in their World Cup round of 16 clash.
The tense moment was picked up on by angry fans as Sterling ran towards the tunnel at the end of the opening forty five minutes.
‘SABOTAGE’: Fans fume over ‘dirty’ tactic missed by referee
A Colombian official can clearly be seen thrusting his shoulder into the path of the English foward as he ran past him.
Sterling spun around in disbelief but to his credit, refused to let the incident bother him as he turned back to join his teammates in the sheds.
However, fans were particularly aggrieved after the Colombian official could be seen trying to convince the referee that the England player was the aggressor.
Watch it unfold in the video at the top of the page.
Colombia bench coach seeks Sterling out as he’s entering tunnel. Throws a shoulder into his chest. Dirty. #WorldCup
— Kurtis W. Larson (@KurtLarSUN) July 3, 2018
Wow. Colombian coach jerk just elbowed Sterling as he came off. He should get a red card too! #ENGvCOL
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) July 3, 2018
Just remembered that 40-something Colombian coach shoulder barging 23-year-old Raheem Sterling at half time 😂 Seriously, how pathetic can you get. Good riddance
— Luke Aaron Moore (@lukeaaronmoore) July 3, 2018
That Colombian coach is a half-baked twat for shouldering Sterling and must be sent to the stands for the 2nd half. Outrageous unprovoked attack, never mind the earlier assault on Henderson .. get a grip referee ..
— Mike Parry (@mikeparry8) July 3, 2018
It was just one flashpoint in an often spiteful contest that Colombia coach Jose Pekerman said England shared much of the the blame for.
Yerry Mina’s 93rd-minute header forced extra-time after Harry Kane gave England the lead from the penalty spot with his sixth goal of the tournament.
And after Mateus Uribe and Carlos Bacca failed to convert their penalties, Eric Dier scored the decisive spot-kick to earn a quarter-final against Sweden.
Colombia could have been reduced to 10 men in the first half when Wilmar Barrios appeared to aim a headbutt at Jordan Henderson, who exaggerated the contact on his chest and chin by suggesting he had been hit in the face.
Barrios was instead shown a yellow card – one of six Colombia players to earn a booking – with Carlos Sanchez among those cautioned, the midfielder having been adjudged to have brought down Kane in the box.
Replays appeared to indicate Kane was also grapping with Sanchez in the area, with Pekerman unimpressed by England’s perception of his Colombia team as a physical side.
“I know they weren’t happy with us before this match because there were lots of remarks, serious comments and unfounded comments. I don’t think this is fair,” Pekerman told a news conference.
“I don’t think that people in England or other countries should think of Colombia players like this. England has a great weapon in aerial play and we have seen that in all their matches. There were lots of penalty incidents with Panama and Tunisia. Players fall in the box, they collide and fall.
“And that hurts, you have to try and stand in the shoes of these players. They are subject to situations which shouldn’t really be present in football. These interruptions are bad.
“Sometimes you have to repeat a free-kick or whatever, but when there are so many fouls we have to try and find the balance so football can happen and the two sides can play the match with good intentions, not only looking at Colombia players, but England players.
“I wish I was wrong, but as from the next match I think England will be much more careful. Today we were on the receiving end of this but I hope this won’t happen again. It has been obvious, too obvious.”
Colombia were without star man James Rodriguez due to injury, his absence contributing to a lack of creative threat for Pekerman’s side.
“One of our key players was not present tonight,” Pekerman added.
“In terms of creative football, decisive finishing, James Rodriguez is absolutely an exciting player, and unfortunately he has not been in top shape at this World Cup.”
Rodriguez and Pekerman were clearly upset during the penalty shoot-out, unable to help their side when the pressure was on.
“I felt hurt and moved for my players, because I think we deserved to win tonight,” said the coach.
“I never talk about the future. Today we are feeling hurt. We’ve given it all, worked very hard and I don’t think we should talk about anything else.”