MOSCOW: England manager Gareth Southgate said he had been confident of quarter-final victory over Colombia even when the World Cup second round tie went to extra time and had to be resolved by a penalty shootout writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The physical stress of a complicated two hours against the Cafeteros left the dressing room, in Southgate’s words, “looking like a scene from M*A*S*H., some from cramp and others needing assessment.”
Southgate added: “We’ll know more in the next 36 hours. We’ve talked a lot to this team about making their own history, and they’ve bought into everything we’ve tried to do with them.
“I’m already thinking about the next game. I’d have liked a week to enjoy this one, but we don’t have that because Sweden are a team I respect hugely. We don’t have a good record against them.
“They have a plan and a clear way of playing, and it’s bloody difficult to play against. They’re greater than the sum of their parts.
“We’re high as a kite now because it’s a special moment for this team. It’ll hopefully give belief to the generations of players that will follow. Maybe we’re getting a bit smarter. Maybe we’re playing our game more by the rules the rest of the world are playing. But we kept our dignity and sportsmanship.
“You don’t always get what you deserve in life but I think that tonight we did.”