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England will face Sweden in the World Cup quarter-finals, after Gareth Southgate’s side finally knocked out Colombia in a dramatic last‑16 penalty shootout in Moscow. Following the win, the streets of central London and beyond were a buzz with chants of 'football's coming home'. Earlier in the evening fans celebrated Harry Kane's penalty, but soon felt despair as Yerry Mina scored a 92nd minute equaliser that sent the match into extra-time and penalties. Ultimately, England supporters celebrated their first ever penalty shootout win at a World Cup and only the second in their history
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Standout players last night? Away from the obvious candidates – Jordan Pickford and Harry Kane – thought Harry Maguire was brilliant again, and John Stones too. Maguire pleading for Mark Geiger, the referee, to consult VAR when Jordan Henderson was ambushed by Wilmar Barrios was pretty convincing too, incessantly moving his index fingers in the shape of a TV monitor. As for Kane, he really has relished his role in this England team, leading from the front. Also, no one’s talking about those momentum-losing wholesale changes for the Belgium game anymore, are they? In fact, Sai, perhaps a little prematurely, emails: “Belgium lost the World Cup by beating England in the group stage.”
Where do England go from here? Samara, to play Sweden on Saturday would be the cynics answer but there is no doubting the magnitude of that result last night. A defeat would have seen England crash out, with only a last-minute win over Tunisia and a cakewalk against Panama to their name. But a victory like that – well, well, well – leaves them three games and perhaps as few as 270 minutes from winning the bloody thing. “I reckon about a 70% of beating Sweden, coin-toss against Croatia or Russia and a 30% chance against whoever wins the other half of the draw,” emails David Penney, giving England approximately a “10% chance of winning the cup. Sound about right?”
How about that, then? A night when a country emphatically leapt out of the knockout stage doldrums, an evening in Moscow whereby a curse was broken, and, simply, a penalty shootout was won. Won. By England. In the end, despite Yerry Mina’s almighty best efforts to dampen the feel-good train, Gareth Southgate’s side did it in perhaps the best manner possible, crushing all those old demons, those previous tepid and cruel exits. Going forward, that set of penalties will surely stand them in good stead, even with all of the favourable-side-of-the-draw talk. It is a night that will live long in the memory.
England's historic World Cup penalty shootout win triggers wild celebrations