Wary England leaving nothing to chance against Colombia

Wary England leaving nothing to chance against Colombia

If Colombia can keep up their defensive form from the group stage, England could very well struggle to create chances in this game as well.

England have not won a penalty shootout since 1996, when they defeated Spain in the European Championship.

However, Southgate did warn that England should not get ahead of themselves as they still have to get past Colombia, who reached the last-eight of the 2014 World Cup.

The most notable absentee from Gareth Southgate's second-string selection, the tournament's leading scorer, had presented himself for interview post-match looking fresh.

"We've been practising and going through strategies on penalties since March".

"There's going to be a bit more pressure on us now but I think it's important for us to have that mentality just to be calm in those situations, enjoy it still".

"I really believe in the group of players we have got", Southgate said.

A lot of the debate over Gareth Southgate's nine team changes against Belgium was over whether a defeat would see England lose the momentum their World Cup campaign had picked up after wins over Tunisia and Panama.

More news: Low will keep Germany job regardless of results

Few people would have tipped either of these teams as quarter-finalists when the World Cup began.

Made of merino wool woven by the Alfred Brown mill in Yorkshire - which also supplied the fabric for England's 2014 World Cup suits and Team GB's uniform for the 2012 London Olympics - a full replica outfit costs £265.

He also praised Colombian striker Radamel Falcao, who had an unsuccessful spell at England with Manchester United and Chelsea, but who has returned to form in France.

Needless to say, England supporters and football fans in general have taken to Twitter to slate Merson for his over-confidence and his dismissiveness of the Colombians.

"I'm getting better with my decision-making and just trying to finish my chances". For us, we're not focusing on the next game [after Colombia], we've got to get through against Colombia.

"For us we have to focus on the next game, we can't think about how well we've played in the last game or how good we are doing".

He said: "To be honest, I'm not a Jesse, who has his celebrations stored".

"The Golden Boot would be great but I'm still there - and if we're in the tournament longer it gives me a greater opportunity", he added.

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