England manager Gareth Southgate has hit back after Colombia manager Jose Pekerman accused England players of diving during their World Cup last-16 clash on Tuesday night in Moscow, which saw England progress to the quarter-finals after winning a penalty shootout.
It looked like England were through after Harry Kane clipped a spot-kick right down the middle from 12 yards to give England the lead just before the hour mark.
The Three Lions successfully maintained the lead right up until the 3rd minute of stoppage time, when Yerry Mina scored with a towering header from a corner, leaping above Maguire and headed down into the ground and the bounce took it above Tripper and in off the crossbar!
Throughout the game there were eight yellow cards shown in the game, six of which were picked up by the Colombians. England’s Jordan Henderson divided opinion after going down in the first half from a headbutt by Colombia defender Wilmar Barrios. Harry Maguire also had a particularly obvious dive in the second half.
Southgate defended his players, arguing that Colombia committed more fouls in the game, before hitting back at accusations that his players played with less honour than England teams of years gone by.
“Maybe we are getting a bit smarter,” Southgate said.
“Maybe we are now playing some of our game by the rules the rest of the world are playing.
“I think we also kept our dignity, kept our sportsmanship and if we went down it’s because we were fouled.
“I thought there were many, many fouls in the game and I don’t think we conceded anywhere near the number of our opponents.
“I’m proud of the discipline. We kept our composure in a really difficult environment and we deserved to win.”
England’s next match will be the quarter final against Sweden Saturday 7th July at 3pm.