AGONAsport World Cup Daily Recap, Day 20: England In Shock Penalty Triumph; Sweden Into The Last Eight

AGONAsport World Cup Daily Recap, Day 20: England In Shock Penalty Triumph; Sweden Into The Last Eight

England, losers of their last five penalty shoot-outs, broke their dire streak as they triumphed on penalties over Colombia on Tuesday. A 1-1 draw saw the teams play through 120 minutes of football before penalties came. In the day’s other match, Sweden also advanced to the quarter-finals thanks to a 1-0 victory over Switzerland. It will be the Swedes’ fifth appearance at the quarter-final stage. 

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GAMES RECAP

Sweden v Switzerland 1-0

Sweden advanced to the 2018 World Cup quarter-finals after defeating Switzerland 1-0. Emil Forsberg scored the only goal of the match with a 66th minute strike that deflected on its way past Yann Sommer. Most observers had predicted a fairly tight match with few goals and they were right in this case.

The story of the match was the number of missed chances by both teams in Saint Petersburg. Sweden were guilty of squandering some big opportunities in the first half while Switzerland also had their moments, but when in front of goal they failed to find the breakthrough.

From 30 shots by both teams, only seven were on target. 

Match Rating - 7: Not a classic for sure, however this was a game that kept the viewer engaged. Though both teams are known for their defensive solidity, either side created openings, but a lack of quality up front meant that Forsberg’s goal stood and Sweden were through. 

England v Colombia 1-1 (England wins 4-3 on penalties)

England bid farewell to their shoot-out ghosts as they overcame Colombia on penalties in a dramatic Round of 16 match. 

England scored first in the 57th minute when Harry Kane was bowled over in the box by Carlos Sanchez. Kane converted the ensuing spot-kick to score his sixth goal of the tournament, leading all scorers in the Golden Boot race up to this point. 

Just as England appeared to be holding on to the lead and the win, Colombia drew level in injury-time as Yerry Mina rose high to head home Juan Cuadrado’s free-kick. It was Mina’s third goal of the tournament. 

Penalties looked inevitable and 30 minutes of extra-time passed without a great deal of incident. Jordan Henderson missed first in the shoot-out, but then Mateus Uribe hit the bar for Colombia. Kieran Trippier made it 3-3 and then Jordan Pickford saved from Carlos Bacca. Eric Dier stepped up to win it and did so by beating David Ospina to his right. England through to the quarter-finals amidst dramatic scenes at the Spartak Stadium. 

Match Rating - 8: Colombia’s equalizer brought the match into extra-time and eventually penalties. Up until then both sides had relatively few chances with England the better side. That goal gave Colombia momentum in the overtime period, but the lottery of penalties saw England prevail. 

GREEK CONNECTION

Former Panathinaikos striker Marcus Berg started against Switzerland and came off in injury-time. Ex-PAOK goalkeeper Robin Olsen played the entire match for Sweden, earning the shutout.

GOAL OF THE DAY

Yerry Mina’s towering header found its way into the net despite Kyle Walker’s attempted clearance. The injury-time goal helped Colombia stay alive when they were just about out. 

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TALKING POINTS

Sweden advance to the quarter-finals after defeating Switzerland 1-0
Sweden will play in their first quarter-final since 1994, when they advanced to the semis
England win on penalty-kicks to advance past Colombia
Yerry Mina’s late header saw Colombia bring match into overtime after Harry Kane penalty had put England in front
England and Sweden meet Saturday in Samara in a 2018 FIFA World Cup quarter-final

LOOKING AHEAD TO TOMORROW

There are two off days now for the 2018 World Cup. Action resumes on Friday with two quarter-finals set to take place. The first pits Uruguay against France with Brazil versus Belgium later on in the day. The two winning sides will meet next Tuesday in the semi-finals. 
 

by George Tsitsonis
Image Source: Guardian.com
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