Pickford: England always believed penalty success possible

After becoming the first England goalkeeper to save in a World Cup shoot-out since 1998, Jordan Pickford said his side always believed.

England keeper Jordan Pickford makes a flying save to deny Carlos Bacca during the penalty shootout against Colombia.   -  Getty Images

Jordan Pickford said England always felt it could win a shoot-out after progressing on penalties at the World Cup for the first time.

Pickford saved superbly from Carlos Bacca to allow Eric Dier to score the winning spot-kick, earning the Three Lions a 4-3 success after a 1-1 draw against Colombia on Monday.

England will now face Sweden in Samara on Saturday for a place in the semi-finals of the World Cup.

And despite becoming the first England goalkeeper to make a save in a World Cup shoot-out since 1998, Pickford insisted he was confident in his side's chances after Yerry Mina's late header sent the tie to extra time.

"Well I just did our research for starters," Pickford said to ITV. "We had a fair feeling - [Radamel] Falcao was the only one who didn't go the way we thought.

"Just set, react and go. I've got power and agility. I don't care if I'm not the biggest goalkeeper, I've got the power and agility to get around the goal and I've got to make the save and be in the moment and I was.

"We reset our mindset, mentality, work rate, we never stopped. We knew if it went to penalties we were capable of winning."

Dier missed a big chance to win it for England in extra time, but the Tottenham man sent a free header flying off target.

And the versatile England international hailed Pickford after his heroics helped to extend England's stay at Russia 2018.

"It's a nervous one. I've never been in a stuation like that before, but I felt like I had to score with the header I missed at the end," Dier added to ITV.

"He's a fantastic goalkeeper. A fantastic attitutde and he deserves everything. He was fantastic in the shoot-out. Big in goal, brilliant in training at them and he's taken it into a game.

"To get knocked down like we did, it's difficult to come back from that, but we were ready, we stayed calm, stuck to our plan and never panicked. We knew if it went to penalties it had to go to penalties and we were ready for that."

 

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