Sunday, 23 September, 2018

James could return against England

If England beat Colombia who and when will they play next Can Harry Kane fire England into the quarter-finals
Jeannette Daniel | 04 July, 2018, 01:29

Colombia reached the World Cup quarter-finals in 2014, losing 2-1 to hosts Brazil, and goalkeeper David Ospina believes the 2018 squad is better than the one from four years ago.

Anything is possible: England's players celebrate after their shootout win.

Measure Kane's five goals against Rodriguez's uneven, injury-interrupted play, and it's easy to see why England has been a darling of the World Cup and Colombia has yet to impose its will upon the tournament.

England expects? Given that Turkey, Austria, Sweden, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Senegal all have a better strike rate in World Cup knockout games over the course of history, maybe England should wait for a couple more wins before getting too carried away. Earlier, Colombian Mateus Uribe had smacked his penalty against the upright to set up the final 4-3 count.

It's the final Round of 16 clash - and it's the big one as far as England fans are concerned.

England advance to face Sweden in the quarterfinals on Sunday (NZ time).

Reaction - James Rodriguez out of England match! Extra time finished 1-1 with neither side able to find the back of the net although England finished the stronger of the sides.

According to FourFourTwo, an estimated 40,000 Colombian fans will have arrived in Russian Federation by the time the match against England kicks off on Tuesday.


Southgate's men were rewarded for their persistence minutes after the break when, from a corner, Carlos Sanchez was adjudged to have brought down Harry Kane in the box.

With neither side able to force a victor, the match went to penalties.

Such arrogance on the part of the English may play right into the hands of Colombia, who with the likes of Juan Cuadrado, Juan Fernando Quintero and Radamel Falcao posses the firepower to expose their weaknesses.

Coach Jose Pekerman is now fretting over the fitness of key playmaker James Rodriguez who was withdrawn in last Thursday's 1-0 win over Senegal as "Los Cafeteros" secured qualification to the knock-out stages as group winners.

England had the better of the chances in a tiresome first half with a Kieran Trippier free kick in the 42nd minute whizzing past the goal.

After goalless first half, American referee Mark Geiger penalised Colombia midfielder Carlos Sanchez for hauling down England captain Harry Kane, who converted the resulting penalty (59).

Stones was pictured on the England bench with heavy strapping and ice around his left calf during the second half of the game against Belgium on Thursday.

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