England Ends World Cup Shootout Curse

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England’s new generation ended the World Cup penalty jinx by knocking out Colombia on spot kicks to reach the quarter-finals.
Eric Dier scored the winning kick after Jordan Pickford’s brilliant save from Carlos Bacca’s attempt to set up a game with Sweden in Samara on Saturday.
Gareth Southgate’s side had been seconds away from the last eight during normal time, with Harry Kane’s penalty after he was fouled by Carlos Sanchez in the box – his sixth goal of the tournament – looking as though it was going to send them through.
But deep into injury time, Colombia threw everyone forward for a Juan Cuadrado corner, including goalkeeper David Ospina, and Yerry Mina headed a dramatic equaliser at the Spartak Stadium.
Kieran Trippier was standing on the line but could not keep out the Barcelona centre-back’s third headed goal of the World Cup.
The Three Lions had been on top for most of the 90 minutes but appeared understandably deflated in extra time – although Danny Rose and Dier missed late chances to win the game and avoid a shootout.
Meanwhile, Sweden defeated Switzerland in a strangely compelling but untidy tie in St. Petersburg.
Emil Forsberg struck the decisive blow midway through the second half with a shot that deflected off the luckless Manuel Akanji and left Yann Sommer stranded in the Swiss goal.
Sommer had brilliantly clawed away a shot on the turn from Marcus Berg in the first half and denied Haris Seferovic late on, but it was undoubtedly a game that was more about missed opportunities than good saves.
Both sides were guilty of squandering good openings – and Switzerland ended it with 10 men after Michael Lang was dismissed in injury time for a push on Martin Olsson, who was clean through on goal.
The referee initially gave a penalty but changed his decision to a free-kick after a review.
That will not bother the Swedes, who have reached the last eight of this competition for the first time since 1994. (BBC Sport)

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