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England beat Colombia 4-3 on penalties to reach World Cup quarterfinals

(Xinhua)    08:11, July 04, 2018

Raheem Sterling (2nd L) of England vies with Yerry Mina (2nd R) of Colombia during the 2018 FIFA World Cup round of 16 match between England and Colombia in Moscow, Russia, July 3, 2018. (Xinhua/He Canling)

MOSCOW, July 3 (Xinhua) -- England won their first penalty shootout in World Cup history as they beat Colombia 4-3 to reach the quarterfinals at Spartak Stadium here on Tuesday.

They will face Sweden in the quarterfinals on July 7 in Samara, and winners of that match are going to play either Russia or Croatia on July 11.

Substitute Eric Dier scored the winning penalty for England, after Colombia's fourth penalty kick hit the crossbar and fifth one palmed away by England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, while England's third one was saved by Colombia's David Ospina.

Colombia's star player and the Golden Boot winner at the 2014 World Cup James Rodriguez was kept on the bench throughout the match due to an injury.

Tuesday's match marked the sixth clash between Colombia and England, with England victorious in three previous ones and tying with Colombia in two.

England coach Gareth Southgate fielded the same starting lineup as the side's opener against Tunisia in the group phase, playing a 3-5-2 formation.

England launched fast attacks and created a few threats through some early set pieces which were largely blocked by the Colombian side.

The first real chance for England came in the 16th minute, when captain Harry Kane, receiving a Kieran Trippier cross from the right, headed towards a half-empty net, but the ball went over the bar.

Meanwhile, Colombia's attempts to launch counter attacks were also in vain in front of England's defense.

Kane opened the scoring for England in the 57th minute by successfully converting a penalty after being fouled inside the box by Colombia's Carlos Sanchez.

It was the 24-year-old captain's sixth goal at the tournament, which extended his lead in the golden boot race.

Both sides made a few replacements after that, with Colombia desperate to find an equalizer. They succeeded in the stoppage time.

Yerry Mina's header after a Juan Cuadrado corner leveled the score for the Colombian side in the 93rd minute, bringing the game to extra time.

After a goalless 30-minute extra time, the two sides went into the penalty shootout, with Colombia's fourth kick hitting the crossbar and fifth one palmed away by England goalkeeper, while England successfully converted four penalties, with the third one saved by Colombia's David Ospina.

A total of 44,190 spectators attended the match at the 45,000-seat Spartak Stadium. It was also the last World Cup fixture at this stadium.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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