England break penalty shootout curse

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England ended their World Cup penalties misery with a 4-3 win shootout against Colombia in Moscow, a success that saw them claim victory from spot kicks for the first time since 1996.

He was the hero of the penalty shootout, saving Carlos Bacca's spot kick to allow Eric Dier the chance to win the contest for England.

England take on Sweden in Samara on Saturday looking for a place in the World Cup semi-finals. They had become the elephant in the room, with news conferences at major tournaments rarely passing by without the "Have you practised penalties?" question being asked, sometimes during the group stage! "That shouldn't change now that we're in the knockout phase", he said.

"Today will give belief for generations to follow and not be hindered by history or expectations".

"To get knocked down at the end like we did at the end, it's hard to come back from that, " Dier said.

Pickford had earlier made a stunning save from Mateus Uribe in normal time, but the game finished 1-1 when Yerry Mina cancelled out Harry Kane's 57th minute penalty with a header deep into stoppage time.

The Burnley fan, who has attended every Three Lions game so far, said: "It'll be tougher than everyone expects - they've got some really good individual players and as we've seen by the opening fixtures in the round of 16 so far, anything can happen". "No one laid on the floor and we stood there when it counted".

Now, in a surprising turn of events, Argentina legend, Diego Maradona has also gone on a stunning anti-England rant to vent his feelings after last night's match, dubbing the result as a "monumental theft".

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But he scored one in the ensuing shoot-out, with Croatia triumphing after Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic scored the decisive kick. Josip Pivaric (for Strinic 81) - 5 - Brought on for the tiring legs of Strinic and filled in at left-back comfortably.

That was until a soft penalty kick was awarded to Kane after he was fouled by Carlos Sanchez.

After four minutes of mayhem as Colombia protested, Kane kept his cool and smashed in his third spot kick of Russian Federation 2018.

But Colombia arrived with little interest in feeding the growing can-England-win-this-thing narrative.

Dier admitted: 'It was a nervous one.

"Thank you warriors! Colombia departs from the World Cup with their heads high", RCN Noticias TV said in their online match report.

Colombia lost 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw, with Maradona echoing Colombia captain Radamel Falcao in accusing American referee Mark Geiger of favouring Gareth Southgate's side.

Inside the arena, the lowest number of England fans since the Tunisia game - officially numbering 2,225 - were drowned out by their rivals until after the game, when the players went over to take selfies and share the special moment with them. "There is a lot of confusion with this type of play". This is very hard to accept. "There was a lot of rhythm and speed but as soon as the ball was in the box my players were not cool and composed".

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