(Persia Digest) - USA Today writes that England conquered its penalty kick demons on Tuesday night with a nail-biting victory over Colombia in one of the World Cup’s most extraordinary and thrilling matches.
After scores ended 1-1 following 120 minutes of frenetic and often ill-tempered action, goalkeeper Jordan Pickford emerged as a national hero with a magnificent save from Carlos Bacca to swing the shootout in England’s favor. Substitute Eric Dier coolly slotted home the decisive kick to help ease 28 years of penalty pain for the 1966 champion.
England has been eliminated from six major tournaments – three World Cups and three European Championships – on penalty kicks, succumbing in its previous five straight shootouts on the way.
The consecutive losing streak started in the semifinal of Euro 1996, when now head coach Gareth Southgate missed the pivotal kick. This time, Southgate could only smile in wonder as England, helped by a miss from Mateus Uribe and Pickford’s heroics, climbed out of the hole it found itself in when Jordan Henderson missed its third kick.
England had earlier looked to have the game and a showdown with Sweden in the quarterfinal in Samara on Saturday all wrapped up, but defender Yerry Mina rose to head a Juan Cuadrado corner in stoppage time at the end of the second half of regulation.
A second half penalty for England captain Harry Kane, his sixth goal in the three games he has played in the tournament, put his team ahead after 57 minutes.
Ultimately though it was four successful penalties much later, and a moment of magic from a young goalkeeper, that kept England’s dream alive.