Pickford and Dier the heroes as England win shoot-out at last

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     ENERGY Inside the National Grid

Now, images of Southgate being consoled 22 years ago and being the consoler after Tuesday's game have emerged online, prompting praise for Southgate's compassion towards Colombia's Mateus Uribe, who missed his spot-kick.

Amid frayed tempers and the heat of the occasion, Kane kept a cool head, directing his penalty high and into the centre of the net with Arsenal's goalkeeper David Ospina diving to the right.

By Andrew Das Of course it went to penalties. Had Colombia played the expansive passing game that proved too much for Poland during the group stages, they would surely have made life more hard for England, who have always found it tough against opponents who can dominate possession.

Just when England thought they had done enough to edge into the quarter-finals, with 90 minutes up, Colombia defender Yerry Mina headed in a dramatic equaliser to send the match to extra-time. Through small calls he was pushing us [toward] our goal, that was clear for me.

Mina, 23, signed for the Catalan giants from Palmeiras in January, but only appeared five times for them in the back half of the season.

England's first knockout victory since 2006 was particularly sweet for coach Gareth Southgate, whose shootout miss decided the Euro '96 semi-final, and vindicated - just - his decision to field a second-string side in the final group game defeat by Belgium to secure an easier route toward the final.

"All I can think now is 'It's coming home'".

"Yeah, I grew up in Portugal so I'm very aware of it!" he said.

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"We've not got a good record against them".

Asked on England's chances in the rest of the tournament, he added: "Final mate, we got it, we got it in the bag".

It was approaching 2am before the jubilant squad even left the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, the delay caused by post-match interviews and drug testing, and 6am before they arrived back at their World Cup training base near St Petersburg.

England fans were less outnumbered in Times Square, Newcastle, where the 2,000-odd crowd was overwhelmingly and unapologetically partisan.

The penalty which led to England's breakthrough was awarded in the 52nd minute as midfielder Carlos Sanchez, who had been lucky to escape punishment for previous incidents, wrestled Kane to the ground.

But joy turned to anxiety and gave way to despair as Colombia equalised in injury time. "I've never really been in a situation like that before".

Maradona said Colombia had been hit by the absence of the injured James Rodriguez.

"When something goes wrong in your life it doesn't finish you and you should become braver, knowing that you've got to go for things in life and don't regret (that) you didn't try to be as good as you might be", said Southgate.

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