I was hoping my beloved 3 Lions of England were going to face Japan in the second round and I was really upset when they lost to Belgium on Thursday night. This meant England got paired with Colombia. It took a conversation with a friend the next morning to realize the route to the final for England is easier than Belgium’s who would face Brazil in the quarter final, France or Uruguay in the semi-final and that’s if the Red Devils of Belgium get past the Brazilians on Friday night.
England had Colombia to contend with before hopefully coming up against Sweden in the quarters and Croatia or Russia in semis. I will still say one game at a time and I am glad my boys passed the Colombian test.
It was not a great first half but England weren’t doing badly as opposed to the fears I had earlier when it dawned on me what Quintero, Falcao and Cuadrado were capable of. England had the edge in terms of possession but no goal to show for their dominance. The half ended 0-0 but I was so sure England was going to progress to the quarter finals.
The second half kicked off with the Colombians looking to steal in behind the English defence but their attempts didn’t pay off. Respite came in form of a penalty for England in the 54th minute where captain Harry Kane was fouled by Carlos Sanchez. Kane buried the spot kick to give England the lead, a goal which puts him ahead in the chase for the golden boot (6 goals in 3 games for the striker).
The game wore on with England looking assured of victory despite not playing too well until the 3rd minute of injury time where Colombia equalized through Yeri Mina from a corner kick to send the game into extra time. It was Yeri Mina’s 3rd goal in as many games for Colombia at this tourney.
Chances came begging for both sides with the most notable one falling for English sub Jamie Vardy as soon as the second half of extra time kicked off. He came close again a couple of minutes later but fluffed the chance.
It came down to penalties after 120 minutes of football and after a Jordan Henderson miss for England I was about to head home because it seemed Mateus Uribe was gonna bury his spot kick and wrap things up for Colombia to progress to the next stage of the tournament. I thought wrong, he missed which meant Kieran Trippier had to score for England to restore parity. He scored and Carlos Bacca missed Colombia’s 5th penalty to hand England the advantage. Eric Dier took England’s 5th kick which he scored and ensured the 3 Lions progressed to the quarter finals, a feat which they last achieved at Germany 2006 World Cup.
Did Colombia miss James Rodriquez in their squad on the night? Not that I care.
I know a quarter final place was what I predicted for England but I might get a little selfish here and hope for a semi-final slot. We face Sweden next and that game is very winnable, well Saturday July 7, 2018 is not far off.
I have got England, France and Brazil in the quarter finals and I still believe one of these 3 teams will win the World Cup.
Thanks for your time guys.
Feature Image: Getty Image