4 Things We Learned After England Progress to WC Quarter Finals in Dramatic Colombia Shootout Win

It has actually happened. England have finally, finally, won a World Cup penalty shoot-out, and their first on foreign soil in any competition. It may be a cliché, but it's true, England vs. Colombia was a rollercoaster night.


Harry Kane opened the scoring with a penalty, blasted low and hard into the middle of the goal. In stoppage time, Yerry Mina rose above the England defence to head in an equaliser.


The match boiled down to penalties. Jordan Henderson was the first to miss, his shot saved by David Ospina. Colombia player Mateus Uribe blasted the ball into the cross-bar, Trippier then levelled the shoot-out, 3-3. 


For the fifth penalty, Jordan Pickford pulled off one of the great England saves, clawing Carlos Bacca's powerful strike away from goal. Eric Dier then coolly converted the his penalty, and in that moment 22 years of penalty hoodoo was gone.


So what did we learn last night? Here are our top picks.

4. England Can Handle the Pressure

The old England would have folded, but this isn't the old England. Many a side has fallen away after a last minute equaliser, unable to come to terms with coming so close to winning, only for it to be snatched away.


But this England side is almost fearless. They re-grouped held out extra time, and then had the bottle that despite the history, the years of disappointment, were able to calmly win on penalties.


This match proved that no matter the situation, this England side can handle it, and come away on top.

3. Getting to the Final Might Be Harder Than We Thought

With all the talk of an easy side of the draw, and also England's outstanding performances against Tunisia and Panama, it felt that England already had one foot in the final. But, the Colombia match proved that as much it is more than a possibility that England can make the final, it is still far from being a certainty.


England were electrifying in their first two matches, but this was helped by the poor quality of the opposition. Against Colombia, England did not have the same pizazz, the passes and one-twos weren't as good as they were in the group stages, and Harry Kane was collecting the ball far too deep.


Against Sweden and any subsequent opponents, the matches are likely to be tight affairs, hard and tiring. To make it to the final, England will need to have the determination and the depth of character they had against Colombia.

2. Colombia Seriously Missed James Rodriguez

James Rodriguez was the best player at the 2014 World Cup, scoring six goals and winning the Golden Boot. Since, then he has gone to play for Real Madrid and is now on loan at German champions Bayern Munich.


He is Colombia's focal point, for which they base their whole team around. Without him it felt like there was a hole in the Colombia side. James' role is to bridge the gap between the midfield and the strikers, without him Colombia could only resort to long balls on the counter-attack with little variety.


Without James, Colombia offered very little going forward.

1. It's Coming Home, Some Time Sooner or Later

Well, maybe. It's certainly closer to coming home than it has been for the past decade. England have got an in-form, young, hungry side, who only have to beat Sweden and Croatia/Russia and they will be in the final. So, if ever there was a time to get carried away, it probably is now.


That said, if England do crash out in the quarter finals, this tournament should still be judged as a success. They've dispelled the knockout stage and penalty curse, the side have got an identity, clear formation and a unique style of play. England have found themselves a world class striker in Harry Kane, and a manager in Gareth Southgate who is both calming and motivating in equal measure. With the success of the England youth sides, the future is certainly looking bright.

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