England’s dreams of World Cup glory just got one step closer.
After an extremely tense match against Colombia, England will now progress through to the quarter finals to face Sweden on Saturday, July 7.
While the first half saw no goals scored, there were plenty of close calls and questionable moves, including Raheem Sterling giving a Colombian player a piggy back ride, and Wilmar Barrios headbutting Jordan Henderson while waiting for a free-kick to be played.
The second half, however, saw the on-pitch scrapping come to a head as England were awarded a penalty after Carlos Sanchez brought down Harry Kane during a corner.
After even more argy-bargy on the pitch, Kane eventually took the penalty, and nestled it firmly in the back of the net.
The drama didn’t end there, however, as Colombia managed to equalise during stoppage time of the second half, meaning the game had to go to extra time.
However, as extra time remained equal between the two sides, it all came down to England’s Achilles heel – penalties.
Jordan Henderson was the first not to score thanks to a fine David Ospina save, increasing fears of yet more penalty heartache for England – but then Mateus Uribe smashed his spot kick off the underside of the crossbar.
Kieran Trippier stepped up next to put England level, before a one-handed save from Pickford and firm finish from Dier sent England through to a last-eight clash with Sweden on Saturday.
England are on their way to the quarter-finals!
While it might seem like an age ago, the England team’s journey at the tournament began just two weeks and four games ago, when they faced Tunisia in the first game of Group G.
While it wasn’t without it’s hair-raising moments, England pulled through with a 2-1 victory thanks to two goals from captain Kane.
England then faced Panama, full of confidence, which was clearly on display during their 6-1 thrashing – goals coming from John Stones, Jesse Lingard and a hat-trick from Kane. The England team were absolutely flying.
Next up in the group stages was Belgium, where things didn’t go quite as well as previous matches.
Regardless of the result, both teams knew they were going through to the knockout stages.
Though Belgium came away with a 1-0 victory, it arguably worked out better for England in terms of who they’d come up against next.
The 2018 World Cup has thrown up some shock results so far, with potentially plenty still to come.
So we might as well take this opportunity to reminisce about the time South Korea beat the 2014 World Champions, Germany, knocking them out of the competition in the first round.
The last time Germany failed to progress from the first round of the World Cup was 80 years ago at the 1938 tournament in France – a fact which makes this early exit even more of a failure than it already is.
South Korea scored twice in injury time to send Germany home in the first round – the first goal a result of a tense VAR decision, the second after a defensive clanger in the 95th minute.
Another surprise result was Russia’s victory over Spain on penalties, (4-3). Before the tournament they were placed 70th in the FIFA world rankings, while Spain were ranked 10th.
The quarter-finals will take place this coming Friday and Saturday. First up, we have Uruguay v France, before Brazil take on Belgium, and then on Saturday, Sweden face England followed by Russia v Croatia.
It’s time to believe! It’s coming home!
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.