World Cup big guns primed for last eight battles

Edinson Cavani

England became the last team to qualify for the World Cup quarter-finals after a dramatic penalty shootout as favourites Brazil and fancied France trained their sights on their last-eight opponents.

"She actually said earlier she struggles to watch penalties because it's a nerve-wracking time", May's spokesman told reporters. And every England player knew the order they would shoot in.

- Wednesday saw more 2018 FIFA World Cup action, as fans of England and Columbia witnessed a fight to the finish that eventually saw England prevailing. "Some just cramp, and some need just a little bit more assessment, so we'll know more over the next 36 hours".

- #FCExtraTime: Who has been the best player at the World Cup?

Four of them were in a particularly ill-disciplined 12-minute second-half spell that included Colombia midfielder Carlos Sanchez wrestling England striker Harry Kane to the ground on a set-piece in the penalty box.

England scored on a penalty kick in the second half, and Colombia evened it with a very late goal.

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Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois went as far as to say Pickford was too small, but Southgate was full of plaudits for the 24-year-old, who had made a fantastic save to keep out Mateus Uribe's strike prior to Mina's equaliser. To state the obvious, neither result would in itself be good enough for England to progress on Saturday, and would force a penalty shootout.

The two England players cautioned were Jordan Henderson and Jesse Lingard.

"But I would say England - nobody speaks about England but they are risky - Brazil or France".

Harry Kane's sixth goal of the World Cup took him level with Gary Lineker for England's record at a single tournament.

Fellow former Three Lions star Alan Shearer simply said: "Yesssssssss boys yeeesss yes yes #RUSSIA_2018 @England". I thought we played with great discipline.

France's Lilian Thuram hits past Croatia's Zvonimir Soldo to score the winning goal for France during a 1998 World Cup semifinal match. Only one other World Cup was closer, and most haven't been almost so competitive.

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