England won a World Cup penalty shoot-out for the first time ever last night as they finally overcame Colombia in their Round of 16 encounter. Harry Kane had initially given the Three Lions the lead from the spot midway through the second half. However, in the third minute of stoppage time, Yerry Mina powered in a header for Colombia to force extra-time.
The additional 30 minutes were painful for England, who were on the back foot for the majority of it. Once penalties were forced, it looked as though the spot-kick curse would continue when David Ospina brilliantly palmed away Jordan Henderson’s kick, but Mateus Uribe hit the bar with Colombia’s next shot, allowing Kieran Trippier to level the scores. Jordan Pickford then performed heroics by denying Carlos Bacca, which left Eric Dier with the task of sending England to the quarter-finals. He obliged, just beating Ospina with an effort low to the keeper’s right.
Player Ratings For Victorious Three Lions
Despite the win, the performance was not quite up to the expected standard of a team that reached the knockout stages with relative ease. England remained comfortable for the majority of the game but did little to threaten Ospina and his back four.
But how did each individual player fare in this game?
Jordan Pickford – 8
Pickford’s defining moment in the game was his penalty save from Carlos Bacca. The Everton shot-stopper read the shot perfectly and managed to stick out a strong arm to keep the ball out and give Dier the opportunity to send England through. What shouldn’t be forgotten, though, is his astonishing save at the end of normal time. Pickford somehow tipped Mateus Uribe’s sensational volley over the bar in the dying seconds. The only shame was that it conceded the corner that led to Colombia’s equaliser.
Kieran Trippier – 7
Tottenham’s right-back has had an excellent tournament so far in Russia and continued his good form into this game. He was energetic down the right-hand side and was a constant threat with his crosses from the wing. He came close with a free-kick in the first half and showed excellent composure with his penalty in the shoot-out. The only thing stopping him from getting a higher rating is his mistake for the Colombia equaliser. He couldn’t readjust his body in time to clear Mina’s header, instead heading the ball into the crossbar before it crossed the line.
Kyle Walker – 6
Walker was once again utilised in his unfamiliar position of centre-back, as he has been for the whole of this tournament. He has performed well there in Russia, as well as tonight, but still gets caught out too often, leaving some fans questioning the decision to play him more centrally. Once particular moment came when he was robbed of possession by Bacca, leaving England stretched as Colombia countered. Luckily, Juan Cuadrado blazed his effort over the bar, but it was a severe warning sign for England that the game was far from over.
John Stones – 7
Although John Stones won’t be making any headlines for his goalscoring exploits in this game, like he did after his brace against Panama, he should still be happy with his more defensive performance tonight. He looked calm and assured when in possession and confidently carried the ball into midfield when needed. Pep Guardiola might have some tough line-up decisions when Stones returns to club football with Manchester City next season if he continues to play well in the next round and possibly beyond.
Harry Maguire – 8
After spending the majority of his career so far in the Football League with Sheffield United and partly with Hull City, the rise of Harry Maguire has been quite meteoric. He was playing in League One as recently as 2014 and only got his ‘big move’ in 2017 when he was signed by Leicester City. However, it feels as though Maguire is the defender that England have been missing for all these years. His sheer physicality is enough to scare attackers, and it was on show tonight with some excellent defending on Radamel Falcao. Despite playing on the left-side of the back three on his weaker foot, Maguire seemed confident and calm on the ball, going into midfield when appropriate to help England break through the Colombian midfield.
Ashley Young – 6
Young started off this game pretty well, looking as energetic as Trippier on the right. His set-piece deliveries looked dangerous as well, but he tired fairly quickly in the game and England looked exposed down his side late on. Gareth Southgate did the right thing by replacing him with Danny Rose, but it wasn’t a bad performance from the makeshift wing-back.
Jordan Henderson – 6
The Liverpool midfielder still has his critics for his apparently negative style of play, but he was won a few people around with his solid performances in this tournament. He was no different tonight, and the only thing stopping him from obtaining a higher rating is that he was the unfortunate one to miss his penalty in the shoot-out. It wasn’t even a bad penalty, but he admitted himself that he had put it at a good height for David Ospina, who was able to palm it around the post.
Dele Alli – 5
The Tottenham man looked sharp and energetic in the early stages of the game, but it quickly became clear that he hadn’t quite recovered from the injury he sustained against Tunisia in the opening game. There was no dynamism to his play, going for the safe option with passes. If he was still suffering from the injury, it might’ve been the better option for England rather than risking him playing at his absolute best but hurting himself. With all that aside, though, it still wasn’t a Dele Alli-calibre performance.
Jesse Lingard – 5
Similarly to Alli, Jesse Lingard didn’t quite seem himself against Colombia. It’s not to say that he played badly, but there wasn’t the same energy that we have seen from the Manchester United midfielder in previous games. This might have been due to some heavy challenges he endured during the game, but it would be nice to see his usual self return against Sweden.
Raheem Sterling – 5
Sterling has been heavily criticised in the media over the past month, unfairly as well. However, regardless of the condemnation he has received, he wasn’t particularly effective last night. He played with his back to goal most of the time, offering little going forward. Like Alli, he played everything safe and didn’t take the same risks he would when he plays for Manchester City. If Jamie Vardy’s reported injury keeps him out of the next game, Sterling may keep his place against Sweden, but he will also have Marcus Rashford breathing down his neck.
Harry Kane – 8
Harry Kane seems to be awarded every Man of the Match going at the moment. Whether you think other players deserve them more, there can be no denying that England are where they are because of their captain. He is the tournament’s leading scorer and added to his tally last night with an excellent penalty. After being hauled down by Carlos Sanchez, he had to endure a torrid four-minute spell of despicable delay tactics from Colombia. They were constantly hounding referee Mark Geiger, scuffing up the penalty spot and even had a player follow Kane everywhere he went as he waited. To have the composure to nonchalantly place a penalty straight down the middle after those dirty tactics shows just how important Kane is to England and what a special talent they have on their hands.
Eric Dier – 6
What Eric Dier did when he entered the field of play hardly matters now, because there’s only one thing he will be remembered for last night. He was the man who held his nerve and scored the decisive penalty in the shoot-out, something that few England players past or present can say. It wasn’t even a great penalty, and David Ospina managed to get fingertips to it, but he sent the whole country into delirium with he rippled the net, and for that, he will always be remembered.
Jamie Vardy – 5
Vardy has disappointed so far this tournament and he was just as ineffective last night. He came on for Raheem Sterling just before second-half stoppage time and managed to injure himself fairly early on. This was probably a large part of the reason as to why he lacked pace during extra-time, but he did come close with a snapshot which went straight at Ospina.
Danny Rose – 6
Rose came on for the final 15 or so minutes of extra-time and, although playing at left-wing-back, seemed to be the main attacking outlet for England late on. He came agonisingly close to winning it before the shoot-out, dragging a shot just wide of Ospina’s post after an excellent run. With Ashley Young looking fatigued when he was replaced, Rose may have played himself into the starting line-up for the Sweden game.
Marcus Rashford – 6
The exciting youngster looked okay when he came on, doing enough to maybe worry Sterling about his place for the quarter-final. However, Gareth Southgate has stood firm with his selections of Sterling and seems intent that to get the best out of him he needs to start. Rashford scored England’s second penalty in the shoot-out, showing icy nerve and slamming his kick into the bottom corner, almost before Ospina could even react.