If you live in England, chances are you’ve heard, or even uttered, the words ‘it’s coming home’ on several occasions today.
A nation is starting to believe following England’s thrilling victory over Colombia in Tuesday’s World Cup round-of-16 clash.
Gareth Southgate’s side were minutes away from winning the tie in 90 minutes before Yerry Mina’s header took the game to extra-time.
Of course, the England coach would have preferred to win in regulation time.
But plenty of positives came from England sealing their place in the quarter-final via a penalty shootout.
For a start, it ended England’s shootout curse.
Then there’s the attitude Southgate’s players showed to regroup after Mina’s late equaliser.
Stones' class gesture
It’s easy to get behind this group of players.
Their desire to succeed is clear to see and they carry themselves with class on and off the pitch.
John Stones summed it up when he spotted Glenn Hoddle after England’s warm down.
Stones jogged over to see the former England manager, who has media duties in Russia with ITV, and expressed his delight at having the chance to meet him.
“I’ve never had chance to meet you in person,” Stones remarks. “Absolute pleasure.”
The footage, courtesy of ITV presenter Jacqui Oatley, is class.
Harry Maguire, a standout performer against Colombia, also greeted Hoddle, while Oatley adds that Kieran Trippier later came to meet him.
It’s gestures like this that ensure Southgate’s players are viewed as role models, regardless of how the tournament pans out.
Next up for the Three Lions is a meeting with Sweden on Saturday in Samara.
Sweden topped their group before beating Switzerland in the round-of-16, and England’s record against the nation doesn’t make for pleasant reading.
England have beaten Sweden just twice since 1968, and their recent meeting was a 4-2 defeat in 2012.
Much has changed since then, though, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic no longer leading the line for Sweden.
England showed plenty of heart and courage to overcome Colombia, and that will give Southgate and his players plenty of confidence on Saturday.News Now - Sport News