England Break Penalty Jinx, Defeat Colombia 4-3
Emil Forsberg scored a second half winner as Sweden book a quarter final place courtesy of a 1-0 win over Switzerland in an all European round of 16 World Cup affair.
Both sides were cautious in their approach with none exhibiting great attacking plays from the onset. Ten minutes in there was Panic in the Swiss defence, as they make a mess of a goal-kick and gifted possession straight back to Sweden, specifically Berg.
A crucial block from Manuel Akanji prevented Sweden from capitalizing on the defensive gaffe. Albin Ekdal followed up on the rebound, but shot high over the bar.
A minute later Shaqiri made a chance for Dzemaili who was through on goal but his shot was easily collected by the Sweden goalkeeper Robin Olsen.
Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka was the next to create a chance as he attempted to release Ricardo Rodriguez down the left flank, but his pass was overhit.
Switzerland were looking the better side towards the end of the half and could have scored following a swift counter attack but Shaqiri’s curled pass to Blerim Dzemaili was a bit too much and the ball rolled out for a Sweden goal kick.
Sweden should have scored five minutes from the break when Lustig crossed a delicious ball to an unmarked Albin Ekdal, who sidefooted high over the bar from about six yards out with the goal gaping. Half time found the score barren.
The second half was more of the same cagey affair with not much happening in terms of goal mouth action. Sweden upped the tempo and took the game to Switzerland and were duly rewarded.
Emil Forsberg picked up a pass on the edge of the penalty area and hit a low drive that was destined to go straight in the direction of Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer.
Swiss defender Manuel Akanji however stuck out a foot and the ball took a deflection resulting to it sailing past the completely wrong-footed keeper and Sweden went 1-0 ahead.
Switzerland surged forward in search of an equalizer and almost got one after mayhem in the Sweden box following a Shaqiri corner only for the ball to be cleared off the line.
The Swedish held on to record a famous win while setting up a meeting with either Colombia or England in the quarter finals.
Columbia 1-1 England, (3-4 on penalties)
England overcame their penalty jinx at the World Cup as Eric Dier took the Three Lions into the Quarter Finals of the 2018 World Cup in sudden death penalties during their Round of 16 fixture against Columbia played at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow. England had lost all of their three previous shootouts at the World Cup but finally overcame this knock-out phase jinx to win 4-3 on penalties to clinch a final eight spot at the ongoing 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament in Russia at the expense of Colombia. Harry Kane continues his imperious form with a sixth goal at the 2018 World Cup but Columbia pushed the game into extra-time and penalties after Yerry Mina’s stoppage equalizer cancelled out Harry Kane’s penalty shortly before the hour.
Both teams traded punches, though England was slightly in the ascendancy, with Harry Kane’s miscued header from close range was the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock during the first half. The England captain it was who stayed calm after a long wait to convert the penalty for his sixth World Cup goal – many as Gary Lineker scored in Mexico in 1986 – after Sanchez pulled him down at the back post, 12 minutes into the second period. Columbia toiled thereafter with Radamel Falcao leading from the front. With the clock ticking away, Columbia got their due reward in stoppage time when Yerry Mina towered above everyone at the back post to head Cuadrado’s delivery into the left corner, off Trippier, as Colombia forced extra time. Both teams held on during a cautious extra-time to take it to penalties.
England have a quarter-final date with Sweden this saturday