Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Nervous England fans hopeful ahead of World Cup knockout match against Colombia

GETTY    
   POWER There are fears of a UK power surge as England take on Colombia GETTY POWER There are fears of a UK power surge as England take on Colombia
Domingo Copeland | 05 July, 2018, 04:47

Seven of England's nine goals so far at this World Cup have come from set-pieces but Sweden's aerial ability could threaten to nullify this option more than most opponents to date.

"Well I just did our research for starters", Pickford said to ITV.

Kane's goal - his sixth here - had given England a 1-0 lead and pushed him to the top of the race for the Golden Boot as the World Cup's top scorer.

Fans wearing replica shirts chanted "football's coming home", the refrain which has always been adopted as an unofficial national anthem for the England football team, at various points during the match, most notably after Spurs striker Kane's opener, goalkeeper Jordan Pickford's penalty save, and substitute Eric Dier's decisive spot-kick.

"We've just got to concentrate on doing the job and focus, really".

England definitely has the offensive edge in this game, but Colombia can neutralize it if they can shut down Kane. "It was a night when I knew we were going to get over the line".

Alex Apati, of Ladbrokes, said: "Patriotic punters have backed England since day one and tonight's game has already broken records in terms of bets placed, with 50% of all bets featuring Harry Kane". "That's something that will live with me forever", said Southgate said after the game when reminded of the Euro 96 semi-final loss to Germany where he missed the crucial kick in the shootout. We knew what we had to do, we stayed calm, we stuck to our plan, we never panicked all the way through extra time.

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After four minutes of mayhem as the Colombians protested, Kane kept his cool and smashed in his third spot kick of Russian Federation 2018.

Things were still equal after 30 minutes of extra time, leading to the one thing England fans dread the most, a penalty shoot out. He also netted England's first in the shootout.

Colombia captain Radamel Falcao also accused referee Mark Geiger of bias towards England, calling the American's performance "shameful". It's a big night for England.

"It was a good game - sad that we couldn't get through, but I'm proud of the team's effort", said 47-year-old shoe shiner Mauricio Sanchez, who spent much of the game standing atop his box of supplies, the better to see the screen.

"When there are so, so many fouls and interruptions, I think that's not good", Pekerman said.

"I apologise to all the Colombian people, but the players are not to blame - here is a gentleman (FIFA referees boss Pierluigi Collina) who decides to choose a referee who, by googling him, can't be used for a match of this magnitude", Maradona told Venezuelan TV channel Telesur. There was still plenty of time for England to respond, but the players looked devoid of ideas and paralysed by fear.

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