FIFA 2018: England, Sweden marches into quarter finals

Rajat Kain

Moscow : England's Harry Kane, right, goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, centre, and Kieran Trippier celebrate with teammates at the end of the round of 16 match between Colombia and England at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium, in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, July 3, 2018. AP/PTI

Moscow : England’s Harry Kane, right, goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, centre, and Kieran Trippier celebrate with teammates at the end of the round of 16 match between Colombia and England at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium, in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, July 3, 2018.
AP/PTI

England marched into the quarter finals of the World Cup after defeating Colombia 4-3 in penalty shootouts. The match remained tied 1-1 after the extra time leading to the tie-breakers. Harry Kane scored for England taking his tally of goals to six and putting in strong contention for the Golden Ball. England will now take on Sweden in their quarter final clash this Saturday.

The Old Blighty took a lead early in the second half after skipper and their star of the tournament Harry Kane scored through a penalty kick in the 57th minute.

“So proud, so many emotions in that game, I thought we played really well, we controlled the game obviously so unlucky to concede in the last minute but we stood up and we were tall and we weren’t going to let it affect us and we knew we had extra time and a penalty shoot out if it went to that…,” said Harry Kane, England Captain & Striker.

As it looked that Kane’s strike was enough to put England past the winning line, the South Americans equalised in the 93rd minute through Yerry Mina’s calculated header.

Moscow : England's Jordan Henderson, right, vies for a ball with Colombia's Luis Muriel during the round of 16 match between Colombia and England at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium, in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, July 3, 2018. AP/PTI

Moscow : England’s Jordan Henderson, right, vies for a ball with Colombia’s Luis Muriel during the round of 16 match between Colombia and England at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium, in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, July 3, 2018. AP/PTI

England needed to better its dismal record in penalty shootouts. They had previously lost all three World Cup shootouts and three of four in the European Championship. Colombia’s Mateus Uribe and Carlos Bacca failed to convert their chances, sending Colombia packing home.

“It’s been very uncomfortable, it’s been uncomfortable to play this match knowing that that feeling was in the air, knowing about refereeing decisions, something is happening in football,”
Colombia Coach Jose Pekerman said.

It was also England’s first win in a knockout game since FIFA 2006. They will now face Sweden in the quarter finals this Saturday. after the Scandinavian side won their Round of 16 game against Switzerland 1-0.

Playing their 50th World Cup match, the Swedes made the most of the occasion eking out better chances despite the Swiss dominating possession. Both teams though showed immense composure in their defence line, the reason match remained goalless for 2/3rd of its duration.

But the equilibrium broke in the 66th minute as Sweden went ahead by a goal. Forsberg’s nudge took a deflection off Swiss centre-back Manuel Akanji and sailed past the hapless Yann Sommer.

The goal, in the end proved just enough to give the Scandinavians their first win in a World Cup knockout match since their quarter-final victory over Romania on penalties at USA 94.

“We’re sorely disappointed, the entire team is. We wanted to do more clearly, but we also of course congratulate the Swedish team. They have done precisely what they’re very good at, and that was enough to beat us…,” Switzerland Head Coach Vladimir Petkovic said.