MOSCOW. — England manager Gareth Southgate said he “doesn’t want to go home” as he called on his young side to build on their penalty shoot-out victory over Colombia in the Soccer World Cup last 16 on Tuesday night. After a second-half penalty gave Harry Kane his sixth goal of the tournament, Yerry Mina’s last-gasp header kept Colombia alive, only for England to win on penalties at a World Cup for the first time after defeats in 1990, 1998 and 2006.
“We played so well in the 90 minutes, we showed resilience to come back from huge disappointment and kept calm,” Southgate told ITV.
“Shoot-outs are tough. We had talked long and hard about owning the process of a shoot-out. They kept calm. The players have taken it all on board, it’s a special moment for us.
“We looked at technique, how we needed to be as a team, the goalkeeper’s role.”
England will next face Sweden in the last eight on Saturday in Samara, bidding to reach the semi-finals for only the third time.
“A special moment but now I’m thinking about Sweden,” added Southgate, whose penalty miss saw England lose to Germany in the Euro ‘96 semi-finals at Wembley.
“This was special but I want us to go on. Sweden is another team we have a poor record against. We have underestimated them for years.
“They have created their own story and made history. I don’t want to go home yet.”
Southgate also said his team got the reward they deserved after edging Colombia 4-3 in a gut-wrenching World Cup penalty shoot-out to set up a quarter-final clash against Sweden.
England looked to be heading into the last eight courtesy of Kane’s 57th-minute penalty in Moscow, but the towering Mina headed in a stoppage-time equaliser before a match littered with fouls went to a shoot-out.
Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina saved Jordan Henderson’s effort, but Jordan Pickford turned away Carlos Bacca’s attempt after Manuel Uribe hit the bar. It was left to Eric Dier to convert the decisive kick.
It was just the second time in eight occasions England have won a shoot out at a major tournament, and the first time ever in the Soccer World Cup.
“We had a cruel blow on 90 minutes which we had to show incredible resilience to come back from,” said a relieved Southgate, whose own penalty miss cost England in the semi-finals against Germany at Euro ‘96.
“It was a night when I knew we were going to get over the line. We had the belief and the resilience to get over the line.”
Southgate has challenged his players to write their own history after England’s poor recent results at finals.
England had lost five successive shootouts before luck finally smiled on them at the compact Spartak Stadium.
“Tonight was a classic example. They don’t have to conform to what’s gone before,” Southgate said.
“Today is a special moment for this team. Hopefully it will give belief to the generations of players that follow. In life you always have to believe what is possible and not be hindered by history or expectations.”
He reserved special praise for Pickford.
Pickford was criticised after conceding Adnan Januzaj’s winner in the group-stage loss to Belgium, including by his Belgian counterpart Thibaut Courtois, who said he was too small.
“It was a top-class save, I’m surprised he could reach it given his height,” Southgate said with a wry smile.