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Gareth Southgate: England's end to penalty jinx deserved

06 July 2018
Gareth Southgate: England's end to penalty jinx deserved

Mocked by Belgium's Thibaut Courtois for being too small for a top-class goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford stood tall when England needed a penalty shootout hero to end years of pain from the spot.

England face Sweden on Saturday in the World Cup quarter finals, knowing they are 90 minutes away from being in the last four of the competition.

Russian Federation take on Croatia for the chance to play either Sweden or England in a semi-final.

And Southgate, who missed the decisive penalty against Germany that saw England eliminated in the Euro 96 semifinals, said the result in Moscow was a turning point for the Three Lions - and the country.

England goalkeepers past hail current number one, Everton's Jordan Pickford.

"A substitution like that can say to the players that we're going to hang onto what we've got, and I think that can create a little bit of negativity. It's not straightforward because we won't see everything, but we'll have a feel from what they're reporting and the way they're running, and then we can try to make the best decisions we can".

"But I understand why Gareth did it, it's the first thought at the time that you've got to defend and hang onto what you've got, but I thought besides that England were very composed".

"The history boys" - The I claim England lived up to Southgate's pre-match challenge of his players to "write their own stories" against Colombia. "You don't always get what you deserve in life, but tonight we did". His attitude is brilliant and he's been brilliant in training and taken it into the game.

The Guardian go with an image of ecstatic England players piling on Dier alongside the words: "Joy (and relief) as England break curse of the penalty shootout". 22 years later, the phrase has a broader meaning - that England will win it.