World Cup – Round of 16, July 3 2018
Kane (57 pen)
England won their first ever penalty shoot-out at a World Cup to beat Colombia and seal their place in the quarter finals of this summer’s tournament in Russia. Tottenham Hotspur’s Eric Dier scored the fifth and final spot-kick to send Gareth Southgate’s men through after Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford had denied substitute Carlos Bacca on Colombia’s fifth. It was a tie filled with drama in Moscow, as Harry Kane’s 57th-minute penalty looked to have secured the victory, only for new Barcelona recruit Yerry Mina to equalise – with his third headed goal of the tournament – in the final few seconds of stoppage time. Momentum had shifted in Colombia’s favour in extra time, but neither side really threatened to score the winner. Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson was the first to miss from the spot in a shoot-out of genuine quality, but two Colombian misses later all was forgotten as Dier held his nerve to spark wild celebrations. It’s England’s first win in the knockout stages of a major tournament since 2006 – and now Sweden await on Saturday in Samara.
13 / 4
SHOTS / ON TARGET
15 / 1
Passes / Accurate
23 / 6 / 0
Fouls / Yellow / Red
13 / 2 / 0
Colombia’s defensive unit remained unchanged from their 1-0 victory over Senegal, but injury to James Rodriguez forced a new-look attack. The South Americans set up in a 4-3-2-1 structure, with Juan Cuadrado and Juan Quintero supporting lone forward Radamel Falcao.
Colombia started extremely defensively, as they happily relinquished possession to England in the opening exchanges. They looked most threatening during counter-attacks from deep, particularly when England threw six players forward at attacking corners. This naturally created huge spaces for Colombia to transition through, but their block recovered well to hinder any initial progress.
Quintero drifted across towards the right side in possession, looking to overload with Cuadrado. Colombia clearly targeted Harry Maguire and Ashley Young in England’s defence, knowing they had the pace to beat the defensive pair. Nevertheless, their best chances actually came from their left side, as full-back Johan Mojica got forward, providing crosses for Falcao. Mojica and Kieran Tripper battled well, as both made good progress in getting into crossing positions for their respective sides.
Despite potential forward access during counter-attacks, Colombia lacked directness in possession, with the absence of Rodriguez sorely felt going forward. Falcao’s contribution in the first half was limited to laying the ball off during midfield switches, and his lack of service helped to ensure the tie remained goalless at the interval.
As the second half began, Colombia alternated their attacking structure, with Cuadrado moving into a more central position. Their lack of success along their right side was due to a solid defensive display from Maguire and a subsequent lack of space for Cuadrado to drive into. Quintero, therefore, moved across into the right channel, looking to then drive back inside on to his left foot – and Colombia’s most effective chances came from his quick combinations with one of the defensive midfield trio.
In reaction to going behind, they slowly began to push forward, with the defensive back line pushing higher, squeezing England into their own half. Pressure from Colombia’s forwards began to show, as striker Carlos Bacca was introduced to their front line. With an additional striker to support their attacks, Quintero in particular now had more space and less time under a man-marking shadow. Bacca and Falcao occupied the entire English central back line, as Colombia now had more access into their strikers – and England’s midfield unit struggled to block off this access. Quintero became the main source in linking defence into attack, while England grew sloppy in possession.
After a belting long range effort forced a final corner deep into injury time, Colombia dramatically drew level. Yerry Mina rose highest before powering home his third goal of the tournament, despite the best efforts of Trippier on the goal line.
Colombia now had all the momentum heading into the first period of extra-time. Spurred on by their noisy supporters and a change to a 3-5-2 structure, they bombarded England’s back line with crosses from deeper positions. The Three Lions’ lack of mobility also helped Colombia maintain the pressure, as England’s diminishing attacking threat and intent increased the percentage of possession the Colombians could obtain.
Their second period during extra-time lacked intensity and quality, however, as the momentum from their equaliser had started to fade. A second tactical change by head coach Jose Pekerman saw the team revert to a defensive back four, as they gradually lost control of the ball. Despite this change, neither side provided many moments of attacking quality, and the game was sent to a penalty shoot-out.
Superbly struck penalties from Falcao, Cuadrado and Luis Muriel set Colombia ahead, with Jordan Henderson missing for England. However, Colombia missed their next two, with Mateus Uribe’s effort crashing back off the bar and Bacca’s effort saved by the outstretched hand of Jordan Pickford. Eric Dier, under immense pressure, went on to slot home the winner, as Colombia lost their third World Cup knockout game in four attempts.
Gareth Southgate called upon the starting line-up that earned an opening-game victory over Tunisia, as England set up in a 3-5-2 structure. Dele Alli returned from injury, accompanying Jesse Lingard in the advanced central midfield roles.
England dominated the majority of the early possession, as the midfield unit rotated in front of Colombia’s back line. But despite forcing early corners, their pressure failed to amount to anything threatening on goal, as the Colombian defensive midfield trio effectively blocked the central channel.
While holding the majority of possession, England’s passages of play were largely based within the back line. They struggled to progress from deep areas, lacking guile on the ball and struggling to roll players as the Colombians aggressively pressed from behind. They seriously lacked penetration in the first half.
Defensively, England dealt with the majority of Colombia’s wide build-up, with Jordan Henderson in particular excellent during moments of defensive transition. Utilising a Jurgen Klopp-inspired counter-press, Henderson consistently delayed Colombian attacks, crucially allowing enough time for Lingard and Alli to recover back into central positions.
Tensions boiled before the interval, though, as Colombia’s lack of possession turned into frustration. Late tackles, pushes and even headbutts occurred, as Colombia clearly set out to rattle their opponents as half-time approached. To England’s credit, they failed to let these tactics spoil their game plan, as final-third penetrations suddenly became more frequent.
Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling alternatively dropped short, dragging central defenders with them, which enabled Lingard and Alli to move in behind. However, a lack of fluidity in possession high up the pitch ensured England failed to link the final pass. Sterling looked out of sorts at times, as he struggled to co-ordinate attacks within confined spaces of defensive pressure.
England continued to build short from goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in an attempt to create overloads in midfield. But Colombia rarely committed to a high-pressing system, and were happy to let England maintain possession in an ineffective area. Their lack of central penetration continued as they moved to build up along the channels.
However, Kieran Trippier had started to make good progress with the ball, combining well with Lingard in the inside channel. Eventually, after forcing numerous set-pieces and corners, they took the lead. Kane was brought down inside the penalty area, right under the nose of the referee, before powering his side ahead from the spot.
From here, England converted into a mid-block, placing the majority of the team behind the ball. Both wing-backs rarely ventured ahead of the ball, as they looked to strategically hit Kane with diagonal long balls. Kane’s hold-up play was superb – not only did he relinquish pressure on the tiring back line, but he also won fouls high up the pitch to halt any Colombian momentum.
But after an outstanding save from Pickford kept out a thunderous long-range effort, England conceded from the resulting corner. Central defender Yerry Mina powered home the equaliser – his third headed goal in three games at the tournament – deep in stoppage time to send the tie to extra-time.
England predictably struggled in the opening half of extra-time. They did well to hold out, with Colombia having their most effective period of the game so far. Multiple crosses from their left side found Falcao, but Maguire and John Stones were warriors in the air, clearing the danger with solid defensive clearances.
England then proceeded to regain control of their emotions – and possession – during the last period of extra-time. The introductions of Jamie Vardy and Marcus Rashford added an increasing threat with runs in behind, but Vardy’s relatively tame efforts on goal were comfortably dealt with by goalkeeper David Ospina.
Colombia rarely threatened but, in reality, neither did England, as the game went to penalties. Despite Henderson missing his kick, substitutes Mateus Uribe and Carlos Bacca failed to convert their following two penalties for Colombia, with the latter saved by Pickford. Eric Dier took the fifth and final spot-kick, and his low strike went through the hands of Ospina and into the bottom left corner to seal England’s first ever penalty shoot-out win at a World Cup, and their place in the quarter finals.