England are 'Diernamite!' Press hail end to penalty shootout woe

Emmett Rice
July 6, 2018

Jamie Vardy looks increasingly likely to miss England's World Cup quarter-final against Sweden, with Gareth Southgate needing to closely assess the fitness of up to three of his players on the eve of the game.

Jordan Pickford produced a marvellous save to tip over Mateus Uribe's thunderous 30-yard volley with time running out in 90 minutes and then he stopped Carlos Bacca's penalty to help England to a 4-3 penalty shoot-out win.

"They are a team that I think in the past have been underestimated - we won't make that mistake", added manager Southgate. I think you'd be better off putting an attacking midfield player.

Back in 1996, Southgate, not content with being public enemy number one, seemingly thought, "I've got nothing to lose" and agreed to star in an advert for Pizza Hut where he good humouredly took the piss out of himself.

"We felt it was probably a good time to try solidify a little bit and with hindsight it was probably a good thing that he didn't go to extra-time because that would have put him at a bit more risk".

Jordan Henderson says he will remain "forever in debt" to England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford for his heroics in the last 16 penalty shootout win over Colombia.

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"Because Sweden are often underestimated and I have real respect for Sweden".

They will now face Victor Lindelof's Sweden in Samara on Saturday afternoon for a place in the semi-final against either Russian Federation or Croatia.

"The lads would always be prepared to risk injury for these games but that can't be at the detriment of the performance", Southgate said. We have underestimated them for years.

Sweden have proved a notoriously tough rival for England in the past, with Southgate pointing out: "They are older, more experienced, and have a better tournament record than us". Every team will believe they can make the final at this point. We knew what we had to do and we stayed calm.

"I'm not sure if Kevin knew who Kyle was at the time, ' said Reid. If we've got players who are 75% the guys who haven't been in the team deserve to come in and be at 100%".

England and Sweden have twice met at the World Cup with both encounters in 2002 and 2006 ending in stalemates.

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