Saturday, 19 October, 2019

Colombian star: American ref handed England win

Gareth Southgate PAGareth Southgate feels England are in a good place
Lora Ball | 05 July, 2018, 10:47

England manager Gareth Southgate speaks with Harry Kane and team mates.

Raheem Sterling and Kane both found themselves dropping deep to receive the ball and help progress England into the final third, but for the most part were outnumbered by Colombian defenders.

Colombia's stand-out player from the tournament will be Mina, whose headers earned him the nickname "Mina de Oro" or gold mine, after they carried Colombia to victories against Senegal and Poland in the group stage.

Henderson had a penalty saved by Ospina in the shootout but Mateus Uribe smashed the following kick onto the crossbar to pave the way for Pickford and Dier to be England heroes.

There had been precious little drama - though much petulance - throughout most of normal time as a Colombia side shorn of injured playmaker James Rodriguez set out to defend.

Image: The Argentinian wearing a Colombia shirt on Instagram.

"Thank you warriors! Colombia departs from the World Cup with their heads high", RCN Noticias TV said in their online match report. "I think we've always underestimated them", Southgate said.

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Celebrating England fans at Spartak Stadium.

Colombia received six of the eight yellow cards for the game, including one for Wilmar Barrios for an apparent headbutt on Jordan Henderson.

The penalty which led to England's breakthrough was awarded in the 52nd minute as midfielder Carlos Sanchez, who had been lucky to escape punishment for previous incidents, wrestled Kane to the ground. It was a full four minutes before the captain was able to step up to the spot as the South American players harangued the American referee Mark Geiger.

Players had already been evaluated during practice drills and their past performance taken into account, in contrast to previous tournaments, such as in 1998 when David Batty, who had never taken a penalty in a match, missed the decisive fifth kick in a round of 16 loss to Argentina.

Fans in The George Wallis went from biting their nails to leaping up and down, hugging and finally belting out Three Lions in chorus after Eric Dier's crucial spot kick.

Colombia made changes and went for the tying goal, but nothing was doing as frustration increased.

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