Sports Football 05 Jul 2018 England fans rejoice

England fans rejoice

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | T N RAGHU
Published Jul 5, 2018, 2:42 am IST
Updated Jul 5, 2018, 2:42 am IST
Harry Kane & Co. enthrall their supporters with a shootout win.
England fans in Russia celebrate after beating Colombia to enter the World Cup quarterfinals. (Photo:AP)
 England fans in Russia celebrate after beating Colombia to enter the World Cup quarterfinals. (Photo:AP)

Moscow: England’s incompatibility with penalties is so well documented all over the world that the result is a foregone conclusion when their match goes to a shootout. England coach Gareth Southgate knows it too well, having missed a crucial penalty in a loss to Germany in the semi-final of Euro 1996. But Tuesday was a different day as the Three Lions buried their past ghosts with a 4-3 win over Colombia at the Spartak Stadium here to reach the World Cup quarters.

Captain Harry Kane led from the front to pave the way for the shootout win by taking the first penalty with sky-high confidence. He had also scored from the spot in regulation time to give England the lead. Kane has always been spot-on here as his hat trick against Panama in the league included two kicks from the penalty mark. As is the leader, so is the team.

 

England fans could scarcely believe the fact that their country had indeed won a shootout. Some were rubbing their eyes in disbelief even after the players had headed into the tunnel. A middle-aged fan hugged everyone he met as he staggered his way out of the Spartak Stadium. “We have won on penalties. Unbelievable,” he shouted.

Tom Hughes, another fan, was in great demand for TV interviews as he put England’s penalty woes eloquently. 

“I couldn’t bring myself to watch the shootout because all our failures flashed in my mind. I never thought we would pull it off. To realise that we have indeed won is amazing. I hope this is the start of a new era,” he said.

 

After consoling a Colombian fan, Englishman Alexander Bishop said he was confident about his team for a change. “This is not the old English side with weighty names. I knew we had a chance against a somewhat weak Colombian team. I hope we can go all the way on the back of this success,” he added.

Chris Waddle, Stuart Pearce, Paul Ince, David Batty, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Jamie Carragher, the list of English players who have flunked a penalty in a World Cup shootout is rather long.

Jordan Henderson of Liverpool joined the dubious group on Tuesday but goalkeeper Jordan Pickford’s crucial save helped him end up in a winning team. 
For a change, an Everton player helped his Merse- yside rival on a football pitch.

 

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