Who thought that last night we would win inside 90 minutes? Yep me too – and in truth, we should have done. However several things went against us. Firstly a brilliant save by Pickford which resulted in a corner. Some are saying that it was going wide. I’m not sure, I haven’t seen a replay from behind the goal. In fairness Pickford couldn’t let it go, so the corner couldn’t be avoided. The truth is though, we should have closed him down earlier. The corner was a good one, but defensively – we should have dealt with it. The header by Mina wasn’t a great one, but he got fortunate in that the bounce of the ground just alluded Trippier and into the roof of the net it went with just a minute left.
Here we go again!
Although Colombia had the ball more than us in the final 20 minutes, they hadn’t created much and really didn’t deserve the equaliser. That coupled with their disgusting approach to the game. There should have been at least one more penalty to England and they should have been down to 10 after the headbutt. The ref was a bottler though, other than the penalty. Clearly the majority of the crowd wanted Colombia to win, and he didn’t appear to be able to cope with that.
So into extra time, and unlike in the normal 90 – now they looked a threat. From 75 minutes we had stood off more and more, which gave them the opportunity to equalise. Here we were doing it again. I have to say, I now feared that we would get beat. We managed to survive the first half of ET, and the 2nd we were in total control. Unfortunately we didn’t create much. We had a decent chance towards the end but not much more. So it was, penalties again. I am in a WhatsApp group with friends. No one was confident, although one person said that we will win one sometime.
Falcao was first up for Colombia and scored easily. 1-0
Harry Kane stepped up for England’s first and scored emphatically. 1-1
Cuadrado then put Colombia back in front. 2-1
Rashford was next. That took bottle at age 20. But he dispatched a good penalty in the bottom left corner. 2-2
Muriel was next and hit the net straight down the centre giving Colombia the advantage again. 3-2
Henderson was next and although his penalty was on target, Ospina got his hand to it and prevented it going in. It remained 3-2. This was the point that I thought we’d blown it – AGAIN! A game we should have won in 90 minutes, looked like we were going to lose on penalties just like every other time in the world cup.
Uribe stood up the potentially put Colombia in an almost unassailable position. He hit the ball hard and went for the top corner, but got under it a little too much and hit the bar. It still remained 3-2.
It was now up to Trippier to draw us level. BANG, top left hand corner and we were level. 3-3
Bacca was next for Colombia to try and give them back the advantage. The shootout was now effectively sudden death. He hit it reasonably well centrally, but Pickford stuck up his arm and blocked the shot. It remained 3-3 and now, unthinkably, we had the opportunity to win a shootout.
Up stepped Dier who had only recently come on as sub. What must have been going through his mind? I was a nervous wreck, even my wife was shouting for him to score – she hates football! He seemed totally focused and stepped up and buried it into the bottom left hand corner. Cue jubilation, shouting and screaming – and that just my living room! The scenes on the pitch were brilliant too!
My son watch on the big screen at Warwick and videoed this for the Dier penalty:
Ok let me do the negative bit first. We shouldn’t have got to penalties. We were far too tippy tappy and didn’t inject enough pace. When we did attack them, they couldn’t cope. We also settled for 1-0, something we can’t do again. That is REALLY dangerous.
However winning that shootout and getting that monkey off our back is actually brilliant. We will go into the next match with confidence that if it came to that again, now we know we can win them. Hats off to Southgate who, quite rightly, had them practicing penalties unlike previous managers.
So we now prepare for Saturday and Sweden. They like to play football, which should suit us better. I think Saturday will be entertaining and we now have a great chance.
So we go from seeing is believing for penalties, to keep on believing – it JUST may be coming home!