England finally broke their World Cup penalty hoodoo, coming through a very tense and nervous encounter with Colombia to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup.
England were given a real test last night. Not only did they have to withstand genuine nastiness and crude tactics from a Colombian side whose strategy was to unsettle an inexperienced England side, but they also showed character beyond their years in overcoming the crushing disappointment of conceding an injury-time equaliser.
Here are the players’ ratings:
Jordan Pickford 9/10
What an immense performance from the young Everton keeper. He was criticised after the Belgium loss but stood tall last night, made no errors, pulled off a fantastic save just before Colombia equalised and, of course, was the hero when it came to the penalties.
Kieran Trippier 8/10
Had his usual assured game for the Three Lions. He was not as fluent with his runs down the wing but still drove forward time and again and was cool as a cucumber taking his penalty. The only criticism is that he may have done better in attempting to clear Mina’s header but then again, he is rather small.
Kyle Walker 7/10
Made one huge error and England were lucky to escape without punishment, but he ran all night long and overall gave an assured performance. He is growing into the back three role and will get better going forward.
John Stones 8/10
Another solid performance from the Manchester City defender. He was confident with the ball and stood tall whenever Colombia attacked. He is now the heart of the England defence and showed it last night.
Harry Maguire 8/10
Another solid performance from the Leicester City man. He was calm and assured and is never afraid to run with the ball, which draws players towards him and opens up space for his teammates.
Ashley Young 6/10
He did well under immense provocation from the Colombians, though on occasions he did get into silly confrontations and, considering his experience, could have handled certain situations better. Overall though he was a great outlet and an asset.
Jordan Henderson 6/10
An eventful night for the Liverpool midfielder. He overreacted a little too dramatically to the headbutt from Barrios and did miss a penalty, but he showed character throughout the evening and can be forgiven his minor mistakes.
Dele Alli 5/10
A bit of a disappointment last night. It is clear he is still struggling with a thigh injury and questions must be asked about his place against Sweden. He is still very young and can be a game-changer on his day, but he has yet to show up in this tournament and we are getting to the stage where passengers cannot be carried.
Jesse Lingard 6/10
Was targeted by the Colombians and they did a successful job on the Manchester United forward. He seemed to go into his shell after some clattering challenges and will need to show more backbone against Sweden but, overall, he held the ball up well and stood strong when required.
Raheem Sterling 6/10
Again not his best game but there is more to Sterling than just scoring goals as he takes defenders away from the likes of Harry Kane and still plays a crucial role. As with Alli, his place must be under threat. Time is running out for the Manchester City youngster.
Harry Kane 9/10
Another top performance from the England captain. He won and scored the penalty that very nearly won the game for England and of course scored England’s first in the shootout. He leads from the front and ran himself into the ground last night. He was the heartbeat of the team and never let the country down.
Eric Dier 7/10
Showed nerves of steel to score the winning penalty. He was not as assured on the field of play as he usually is for his club and was loose with some passes, but when called upon stepped forward and came through under extreme pressure.
Jamie Vardy 7/10
Was never really a threat but did a job for England when he came on. He ran at the Colombians constantly and generally made a nuisance of himself. He did what was required, no more, no less.
Danny Rose 6/10
Came close to scoring but he never looked an upgrade on Ashley Young. Played the role asked of him.
Marcus Rashford 7/10
Showed nerves of steel at a crucial time in the penalty shootout and will have grown as a player for the experience. He had very little playing time but did more than enough when asked to step up.