July 3, 2018 / 9:37 PM / 4 months ago

Soccer-Don't panic: Dier says kept calm for England

MOSCOW, July 3 (Reuters) - Eric Dier said England just kept calm and didn’t panic as his successful penalty against Colombia gave his side their first ever win in a World Cup shootout on Tuesday against Colombia in Moscow.

“To get knocked down like we did is difficult to come back from it,” Dier said after Yerry Mina had equalised for the Colombians in stoppage time to force the match into goalless extra time.

“We knew what we had to do and we stayed calm,” he added after the 4-3 shootout win. “We never panicked. We were ready for that.”

Coach Gareth Southgate, who knows what it is like to be on the losing end of a shootout as an England player, said the victory was “fantastic”, adding: “I think we deserved it as well.”

“We showed incredible resilience to come back from huge disappointment at the final whistle and keep our calm. It’s a special moment for us.”

Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who palmed away a shot from Carlos Bacca after Mateus Uribe had hit the woodwork, said he had done his homework to try not to follow a succession of England goalkeepers to walk off the loser after a shootout.

“I did all my research. I’ve got power and agility. I don’t care if I’m not the biggest keeper because it’s about being there in the moment and making the save and I was,” he said.

“It’s all about the set position and I got a hand to it. We knew we had this game, even if it had to go to penalties, we knew we were capable of winning.”

Dier, who had to step up fifth to win the game, confessed: “It was a nervous one. I’ve never really been in a situation like that before but felt I had to score after missing the header at the end so I’m just thankful I scored.”

Kieran Trippier said coach Southgate’s side prepared well for penalty kicks, which have been a jinx for England who had previously lost all three shootouts they had been involved in at World Cups and only won at a European Championship.

“We practised and practised and it paid off,” Trippier said. (Reporting by Alastair Macdonald, editing by Neil Robinson; @macdonaldrtr)

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