COL vs ENG: Stout defending keeps first-half goalless

The first half of the Round-of-16 match between England and Colombia ended 0-0 in Spartak Stadium, Moscow.

There were not many goal-scoring opportunities created by either England or Colombia in the first half in Spartak Stadium.   -  Getty Images

England with a reinstated first XI failed to break the deadlock in a feisty first session in its last-16 game against Colombia in the ongoing FIFA World Cup in RUssia.

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Three Lions started off in right earnest as Raheem Sterling earned a corner as early as the fifth minute when Yerry Mina handled the ball, failing to cope with the youngster’s spirited run. Ashley Young’s effort, however, failed to cause any problems for the experienced David Ospina.

England’s best chance came in the 16 minute when Kieran Trippier twisted and turned on the right touchline before lofting a ball to Harry Kane on the far post. The tournament’s highest scorer, unmarked, failed to keep his header on target.

The Colombians, though, were in no mood to allow the English any leeway and Santiago Arias and Juan Cuadrado attacked the English flanks from the left, exploiting the space vacated by the overlapping Ashley Young. Radamel Falcao came close to breaking the deadlock in the 22 minute when he latched on to a block from Harry Maguire, but John Stones was there to close down the space.

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As England increased the pressure with Sterling going for some mazy runs, the Colombian defence maintained its concentration, Mina and Davidson Sanchez keeping a close eye on Kane. 

The skipper, though, won a free-kick on the edge of the box in the 39 minute but Trippier’s right-footer harmlessly sailed over the wall to thud on the advertising hoardings.  

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