No other country had lost as many penalty shootouts at a World Cup, but when history was against them England’s inexperienced team held its nerve to see off Colombia in a penalty shootout and progress to the quarterfinals.
England were within minutes of reaching the last eight in normal time thanks to a Harry Kane penalty until it conceded an injury-time goal — Yerry Mina powered in a header — which allowed the South Americans to live on to extra-time and, ultimately, penalties.
A miss from Mateus Uribe and a Jordan Pickford save from Carlos Bacca in the shootout proved to be Colombia’s downfall and ensured England won a penalty shootout at a World Cup for the first time in its history.
England had lost six of its seven penalty shootouts at major tournaments, its only win coming against Spain in the European Championships in 1996.
But coach Gareth Southgate — a man who famously missed from the spot in the Euro 1996 semifinal against Germany — made sure his players took spot kicks in training and, on this occasion at least, practice proved perfect.
It was left to Eric Dier to convert the winning spot-kick and now England go from hope to excitement to fever-pitch expectation.
England now face Sweden, who beat Switzerland earlier on Tuesday, in the last eight on Saturday.