For the first time ever at a World Cup, England won a penalty shootout as Jordan Pickford produced a heroic performance against Colombia to set-up Saturday’s quarter-final tie against Sweden.
The Everton shot-stopper denied the South Americans twice from the spot, allowing Eric Dier to step-up and win the shootout 4-3 for the Three Lions.
Gareth Southgate’s side are now just one win away from reaching their first semi-final at a major tournament since 1990.
The 24-year-old produced one of the saves of the tournament in the final moments of normal tie, in a moment that looked to have won it for England.
However, up-rose Yerry Mina from the resulting corner to score a header in the 94th minute and salvage the tie for Colombia.
As the final Round of 16 tie went to a penalty shootout, Pickford recalls the moments in which he knew this was his moments to announce himself on the international stage.
Pickford told ITV Sport:
“It was a day dream – I wasn’t listening to what the gaffer was saying – I was just doing my own thing.
“I gave a fist pump to the fans – I just felt like I was in control – I was telling myself that I’m going to do it.
“What a way to come on to the World Cup stage if maybe I can help us win and save a pen.”
Colombia looked to be on the brink of eliminating England as Jordan Henderson missed from 12-yards, placing the weight of the whole nation’s expectancy on Pickford’s shoulders.
“That’s where I thought, I’m going to have to help the team and help the fellow Sunderland lad as well.
“I tried to make myself look big and hopefully my pressure put him off.”
Rather than shying away, the former Sunderland academy keeper embraced the moment doing just enough to put off Mateus Uribe who crashed his spot kick against the bar.
Kieran Trippier then tucked away his penalty before Pickford guessed the correct way to save Carlos Bacca’s penalty to set-up Dier to score the winner.
“We did our research and I think that gave us the cutting-edge.”
ITV’s official interview
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) July 7, 2018
Pickford’s Dad reacts
Jordan Pickford’s dad celebrating England’s winning penalty is absolutely brilliant! So proud of his boy. 👏👏🏴 pic.twitter.com/pDKT3CmWjT
— 90min (@90min_Football) July 5, 2018
Full penalty shootout
The morning after the night before…
Enjoy! 💪 pic.twitter.com/hXXIUmnttt
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) July 4, 2018