World Cup Daily: Kane stands tall for England

Author
Jason Pine ,
Section
Opinion,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 4 July 2018, 10:25AM

Jason Pine on the World Cup round of 16 clashes that saw England and Sweden book quarter-final spots.

What happened overnight?

England advanced to the quarter-finals for the first time since 2006, beating Colombia 4-3 on penalties after the South Americans scored a late equaliser to send the game into extra-time.

It was an ill-tempered clash in Moscow which saw eight yellow cards dished out, six to Colombian players.

England will meet Sweden who earlier reached the last eight for the first time in 24 years, easing past Switzerland 1-0, courtesy of a deflected second-half goal.

Heroes

Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford's strong left arm will be celebrated the length and breadth of England, after he turned away Colombia's fifth spot-kick to earn his side their first ever World Cup penalty shoot-out victory.

And Harry Kane. Harry, Harry Kane.

England fans will be singing their skipper's name long into the night as he again delivered, scoring his sixth goal of the tournament to equal Gary Lineker's record for the most by an England player at a single World Cup.

Kane really is England's talisman and is becoming a truly world-class player. It's easy to forget he's just 24.

And when Colombia needed a saviour, they found it in towering defender Yerry Mina who scored for the third straight game, drawing the South Americans level in the third minute of stoppage time.

Villains

The England vs. Colombia game descended into near farce in the second half.

The catalyst was Colombian defender Carlos Sanchez doing his best impression of a rodeo cowboy, riding Harry Kane to the ground to concede the penalty from which England eventually opened the scoring.

Sanchez and his team-mates surrounded the referee, protesting for several minutes, at the same time using their boots to scuff the area around the penalty spot to make things more difficult for Kane.

With tens of millions watching around the globe, the last 30 minutes of regulation time were blighted by histrionics, play-acting, diving, cheating, players protesting every whistle, surrounding, screaming at, and all but man-handling the referee. Both sides were equally guilty.

And we wonder why non-football people laugh at our game.

Stat chat
England have now been involved in four World Cup penalty shoot-outs, but this is the first one they've won, having lost in 1990, 1998 and 2006.

Harry Kane is the first player to score in six consecutive England appearances since Tommy Lawton in 1939.

Yerry Mina's equaliser for Colombia was the 99th goal scored after the 90th minute (excluding extra-time) in World Cup history.

Jordan Henderson hadn't lost any of his last 29 games for his country (W23, D6), the longest unbeaten run of any England player in history.

Sweden have won consecutive World Cup matches for the first time since they hosted the tournament in 1958, when they won the quarter-final and semi-final.

Today was Sweden's 50th game at the World Cup; only Mexico (57) have played more without ever winning the competition.

Switzerland haven't won any of their seven World Cup knockout matches.

They said what?
Gary Lineker, former England striker, now pundit: "Christ, it's hard work watching England at World Cups. So much easier to play in the darn things."

Janne Andersson, Sweden coach: "It's full steam ahead for us. We're not satisfied with what we've done - we want to win the next match too."

Did you know?
England coach Gareth Southgate and Colombia coach Jose Pekerman share a birthday (September 3) with Pekerman celebrating his 21st on the day Southgate was born.

What's next?
The quarter-final line-up is now confirmed (all NZT)…
Saturday 2am: Uruguay v France
Saturday 6am: Brazil v Belgium
Sunday 2am: Sweden v England
Sunday 6am: Russia v Croatia

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