World Cup 2018: England did not rise to Colombia’s provocation, says Southgate

first_imgEngland coach Gary Southgate lauded his men for not rising to Colombia’s provocation during an ill-tempered round of 16 match at Moscow’s Spartak Stadium. As many as eight yellow cards were issued in a heated pre-quarterfinals match.England took the lead thanks to one of many errors of judgment by Colombia’s fired-up players. Carlos Sanchez dragged Harry Kane and brought him down in the box. That earned England a penalty shot and Sanchez a yellow card – overall, the referee showed eight yellow cards through the match.Tempers flared before Kane could take the shot. However, he scored and extended his goals tally to six and is comfortably leading the race for the Golden Boot.World Cup 2018: England, Sweden rewrite record books to reach quarter-finalsEngland, though, kept their composure and for most parts, did not retaliate to Colombo’s aggressive tactics. Understandably, Southgate was a proud coach at the end of the night.”We didn’t rise to it (provocation by Colombia), which was brilliant. In general. There were a couple of occasions when we did. But overall it was exceptional,” he said.FIFA World Cup 2018: Who plays who in the quarter-finalsEngland won a penalty shootout in World Cups for the first time in history and Southgate said his team fully deserved the triumph.”I think we deserved it, as well. We played so well in the 90 minutes. We’ve shown incredible resilience to come back from huge disappointment at the final whistle. It’s a huge credit to all our players and every member of staff.advertisement”Shootouts are tough but we talked long and hard about owning the process. We kept calm. Again, great credit to all our staff and all the players who’s taken it on board. We got our rewards tonight … We looked at individual technique and how we needed to be as a team,” he said.Harry Kane’s England break World Cup penalty jinx: Stats and factsEngland will now meet Sweden in the quarter-finals on Saturday and Southgate knows they cannot be taken lightly. The Swedes topped a group which included Mexico, South Korea and defending champions Germany.”This was special but I want us to go on now. Sweden is another team we have a poor record against. We’ve underestimated them for years. They’re brilliant at what they do,” he said.World Cup 2018 Round of 16 Highlights: England beat Colombia on penaltiesThen comes a potential semi-final against hosts Russia or Croatia with Tuesday’s win appearing to vindicate – just – coach Gareth Southgate’s decision to field a second-string side in the the final group game loss to Belgium to secure an easier route.Colombia’s hopes suffered a huge setback before kickoff when key playmaker James Rodriguez was ruled out with a calf injury and without him they took a defensive approach and never rarely threatened.England were always the more purposeful side but they lacked the key final ball and needed a gift to take the lead.The South Americans had been getting away with blatant holding and wrestling at each of England’s many corners and the referee’s patience finally snapped when Carlos Sanchez hauled down tournament leading scorer Kane once too often.After four minutes of mayhem as the Colombians protested, Kane kept his cool and smashed in his third spot kick of Russia 2018.When Juan Cuadrado blazed horribly over the bar with the goal gaping 10 minutes from time with Colombia’s first chance of the match it looked all over for them but there was a fiery sting in the tail of normal time.England keeper Jordan Pickford made a superb save to touch wide a furious long shot by Uribe but from the following corner – Colombia’s first of the match – giant defender Mina rose highest to head in the equaliser and send the massed Colombian fans into a frenzy.England substitute Dier missed the best chance of the extra period when he headed over the bar but he made up for it in emphatic fashion with the winning penalty in the shootout.(With Reuters inputs)last_img

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