Could it really, finally be coming home? It looks like we’re one step closer to that, as England have managed to make it through to the next stage of the World Cup, beating Colombia in a match that ended in a penalty shoot-out.
The Three Lions, who have now won three of their four World Cup matches, have now managed to progress further than the ranks of previous World Cup winners and footballing giants Germany, Spain, Argentina and Portugal.
It was goalless after the first half of what quickly turned into a very heated match, with a couple of fights nearly breaking out on multiple occasions ahead of set pieces.
The first golden opportunity for England came knocking through a disputed penalty in the 54th minute which saw VAR technology confirm a wrongful tussle in the box down beloved Harry Kane during a corner set-up. A couple of minutes and yellow cards on both sides later, Kane kicked the ball into the net to take the reds into the lead.
With less than 120 seconds to go until the end of the match, however, it was at the 93rd minute that Colombia drew thanks to a blistering header by Yerry Mina, sending the match off to another, edge-of-your-seat half hour.
Extra time saw both teams give it their all (albeit clearly physically and mentally wearier), but after an action-packed yet goalless 30 minutes, it was soon enough off to a penalty shoot out… all English supporters’ worst enemy.
Breaking what’s become somewhat of a tradition (read: curse), this round saw England actually winning the penalty shoot-out by 4 goals to 3.
With this being the last Round of 16 match of the 2018 World Cup, we now know who all the teams who can end up going all the way are.
England now join Uruguay, France, Brazil, Belgium, Russia, Croatia and Sweden for the exciting Quarter Final rounds on Friday and Saturday. The Lions’ next appointment, is Sweden, who they’ll be facing this Saturday at 4pm.
Of course, this being Malta, tonight’s happenings mean half the country is absolutely ecstatic… while the other half (whose favourite team probably didn’t even make it to the World Cup to begin with) will no doubt feel the need to point out that England really did get the easier path to the approaching finals, and nearly didn’t even make it anyway.
If you’re (un)lucky enough, you might’ve also heard some car-cading in your area.
All Photos from Reuters’ official coverage of the World Cup