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Four Years Ago Today, England Beat Colombia On Penalties And The Scenes Were Superb

Jack Kenmare

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Four Years Ago Today, England Beat Colombia On Penalties And The Scenes Were Superb

Eric Dier walks to the penalty spot with the expectation of a country resting on his shoulders. He composes himself and takes a deep breath. This is it.

"He places the ball on the spot..." whispers the commentator with a slight anticipation in his voice.

England fans take a gulp of Strongbow Dark Fruit to try and ease the nerves but the magnitude of the situation overrides everything.

The pub falls silent.

Eric Dier taking the decisive spot kick for England (Image: Alamy)
Eric Dier taking the decisive spot kick for England (Image: Alamy)

Dier looks nervous. He takes four or five steps back, looks at David Ospina as if to say 'please don't save this' and lets rip with his trusty right boot.

To this day I'm not sure how the ball crawled under Colombia's goalkeeper, who should have really parried it away, but who cares.

"And England have won on penalties. History in itself for this new team," screams the commentator.

"The last eight of the World Cup and who knows where beyond there!"

The country erupts into a state of euphoria.

Soaked in fluids, you start hugging random people in the pub as Harry Kane, Harry Maguire and John Stones embrace goalkeeper Jordan Pickford - the hero of the hour.

But in the midst of it all, Gareth Southgate, wearing his now-iconic waistcoat, takes a step back.

Rather than celebrate with his own team, the England manager decided to keep a lid on his emotions and ensure that Mateus Uribe was okay.

The Colombian was in tears as he stood next to his manager, covering his face with his shirt, but Southgate went to put an arm around his shoulder and gave some words of encouragement.

He knew the feeling of heartbreak after missing his spot kick in the Euro 96 shoot-out.

The ultimate gentlemen.

Meanwhile a relieved Eric Dier, still feeling the effects of the sheer pressure of it all, was approached for an interview:

"It was a nervous one. I've never really been in a situation like that before," he said after the final whistle.

"But felt I had to score after missing the header at the end so I'm just thankful I scored."

England have let us down so many times over the years. Defeats in 1996, 1998, 2004, 2006 and 2012 left everyone a tad concerned about the prospect of another shootout.

But the summer of 2016 was different. We had faith.

The Three Lions didn't reach the final but this group of players did us proud. There was no huge egos in that team. No tantrums, sulks or bad behaviour.

They made the country fall back in love with football again and for that we thank them.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy & ITV

Topics: England, Colombia, Football World Cup, Football

Jack Kenmare
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