Match 1: Sweden v Switzerland (1-0)
Despite creating a bunch of chances to start the game, neither side couldn’t really put anything on target in the first half and it was a pretty dull affair.
The Swiss goalkeeper, Yann Sommer, had to make a great diving save on the half hour mark to keep things scoreless, but that’s the only notable event that occured in the first half. Both nations had chances to break the deadlock before halftime but they lacked quality in the finishing department.
In the 68th minute, Sweden went ahead. Emil Forsberg did well to create space for himself to get a shot away just outside the box. He scuffed his effort on goal but a deflection from Manuel Akanji chipped the ball over his own goalkeeper and into the net. Sommer would’ve made a comfortable save had it not been for the deflection.
Switzerland fought back but they couldn’t find the key pass to unlock the Swedish defence. The goal scorer, Forsberg, had to block the ball on the line from a corner to keep his side ahead.
Switzerland continued to pile men forward and they were caught out on the counter attack with just seconds remaining in the game. Martin Olsen was one-on-one with Sommer before he was brought down by Michael Lang. Lang was shown a red card and Sweden were awarded a penalty. The referee consulted VAR and decided that the foul had taken place outside the box, so he awarded a free kick instead.
The free kick was the last play of the match and Sweden moved on to the quarter-finals.
Match 2: Colombia v England (1-1, 3-4p)
There was nothing much to report from the first half of this one. England dominated possession and Colombia looked dangerous on the counter attack, just as predicted.
Harry Kane had a headed chance early on but it was an extremely tough angle and never really looked like going in. Then late in the first half Jesse Lingaard volleyed the ball high and wide but other than that, there wasn’t many chances.
It got a little heated towards the end of the first half. Wilmar Barrios should have been sent off for a headbutt on Jordan Henderson but only received a yellow card. Then as Raheem Sterling was leaving the pitch, the Colombian coach shouldered him and pointed at him.
Colombia clearly wanted to disrupt England but England kept their composure in the second half. Colombia were once again playing dirty from set pieces but this time, England were awarded a penalty. Harry Kane was brought down in the box from a corner and he converted the penalty. Colombia’s sneaky tactics didn’t stop once the penalty was given. When the referee wasn’t looking, their players were trying to scuff up the penalty spot.
The pressure was mounting on England as Colombia were pushing forward. In the 3rd minute of time added on, Colombia equalised. From a corner, Yordi Mina headed the ball downwards and Kieran Trippier failed to clear the ball on the line and headed the ball into the roof of the net.
Colombia looked the more likely to score in the first half of extra-time but they couldn’t capitalise on a number of opportunities. England looked better in the second half of extra-time and Eric Dier squandered a chance to win the game for England with his free header late on. So it went down to the dreaded penalty shootout.
England had never won a penalty shootout at a World Cup but that changed tonight despite Jordan Henderson having his penalty saved. Mateus Uribe hit the crossbar and Jordan Pickford made an unbelievable save before Eric Dier sent the whole nation into ecstasy.
England will now face Sweden on Saturday.
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