'Sabotage': Fans fume at 'dirty' act missed by ref

Colombia have been blasted by fans on social media over their ‘dirty’ tactics in the dramatic penalty shootout defeat to England at the World Cup.

Fans have accused the Colombians of attempted “sabotage” over a controversial incident in the penalty box after England were awarded a second half spot-kick.

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Footage picked up by viewers on social media clearly show one of the Colombian players scuffing up the penalty spot before Kane’s spot-kick.

Colombian Johan Mojica was the man in question – the defender earning the ire of fans over his questionable actions.

Footage caught Colombia deliberately scuffing up the penalty spot. Pic: Optus Sport

Fortunately for England, Kane converted the penalty and the unsavoury incident didn’t prove decisive on a historic night for the Three Lions.

England booked their quarter-final showdown with Sweden after winning a penalty shootout at the World Cup for the first time in the nation’s history.

Pickford saved superbly from Carlos Bacca to allow Eric Dier to score the winning spot-kick, earning the Three Lions a 4-3 success after a 1-1 draw against Colombia on Monday.

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.

Despite becoming the first England goalkeeper to make a save in a World Cup shoot-out since 1998, Pickford insisted he was confident in his side’s chances after Mina’s late header sent the tie to extra time.

“Well I just did our research for starters,” Pickford said to ITV. “We had a fair feeling – [Radamel] Falcao was the only one who didn’t go the way we thought.

Pickford stood tall for England in the shootout. Pic: Getty

“Just set, react and go. I’ve got power and agility. I don’t care if I’m not the biggest goalkeeper, I’ve got the power and agility to get around the goal and I’ve got to make the save and be in the moment and I was.

“We reset our mindset, mentality, work rate, we never stopped. We knew if it went to penalties we were capable of winning.”

Dier missed a big chance to win it for England in extra time, but the Tottenham man sent a free header flying off target.

And the versatile England international hailed Pickford after his heroics helped to extend England’s stay at Russia 2018.

“It’s a nervous one. I’ve never been in a stuation like that before, but I felt like I had to score with the header I missed at the end,” Dier added to ITV.

“He’s a fantastic goalkeeper. A fantastic attitutde and he deserves everything. He was fantastic in the shoot-out. Big in goal, brilliant in training at them and he’s taken it into a game.

“To get knocked down like we did, it’s difficult to come back from that, but we were ready, we stayed calm, stuck to our plan and never panicked. We knew if it went to penalties it had to go to penalties and we were ready for that.”

With Omnisport