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WATCH: Wolverhampton pub erupts as England beat Colombia

By Harry Leather | Wolverhampton | News | Published:

Is football finally coming home?

England fans celebrate at The George Wallis pub in Wolverhampton

This is the moment a Wolverhampton pub erupted as England finally won a penalty shootout and qualified for the World Cup quarter-finals.

Fans in The George Wallis went from biting their nails to leaping up and down, hugging and finally belting out Three Lions in chorus after Eric Dier's crucial spot kick.

And as far as supporters at the city-centre pub were concerned, the victory over Colombia was the sign of further success to come this tournament.

WATCH England fans celebrate in Wolverhampton pub:

2018 World Cup: Wolverhampton pub celebrates England win over Colombia (some swearing)

After a first shootout victory since Euro '96 - and the first ever in a World Cup - England fans really do still believe.

"The spirit's there...Nothing can stop us now... It's coming home, it's coming home!"

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Earlier things had looked set to go pear-shaped when Jordan Henderson’s penalty was saved, only for Mateus Uribe’s spot-kick to rattle the bar and goalkeeper Jordan Pickford to deny Carlos Bacca.

But Eric Dier kept his composure in the Spartak Stadium cauldron to propel the Three Lions to a famous 4-3 shootout win after it ended 1-1 after 90 minutes and extra time.

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Sweden now await in a mouth-watering Samara quarter-final on Saturday, which England approach buoyed by a display of character and coolness which belied the side’s tender years.

Inside the arena, the lowest number of England fans since the Tunisia game – officially numbering 2,225 – were drowned out by their rivals until after the game, when the players went over to take selfies and share the special moment with them.

And celebrations in Moscow and the West Midlands continued long into the early hours.

GALLERY: Rollercoaster for England fans in Shifnal

England are now joint second favourites alongside France to win the tournament at just 4/1, according bookmakers Ladbrokes.

Brazil remain favourites at 11/4, while Harry Kane is odds-on at 1/4 to bring home the coveted Golden Boot.

Captain Kane, whose second-half penalty put England 1-0 up before Yerry Mina’s injury-time equaliser, believes England came of age last night.

“Obviously we’d spoken a lot about being an inexperienced and young team, but we grew up a lot on that pitch," the Spurs striker said.

England won a penalty shootout for the first time since 1996

“There were mixed emotions, highs and lows, even in the penalty shoot-out. We were behind, and wanting Pickers to save one, and he did. It showed our mentality.

“It showed the togetherness and character. These are the moments you really see that. It’s a big night for England.

“This will give us more belief than ever, and the fans more belief than ever back home.”

England will face Croatia or Russia if they get past Sweden (PA Graphics)

Meanwhile Gareth Southgate told his players to capitalise on the chance to live out their World Cup dreams, although the manager is under no illusions about what a 'hugely difficult' quarter-final awaits against Sweden.

“We’ve talked a lot to this team about making their own history, and I feel they’ve really bought into everything we’ve tried to do with them,” Southgate said

“The composure they showed in their play for the first 85 to 88 minutes in a big match, under pressure, I thought was really impressive.

“I think for them, definitely a big moment. We want to capitalise on it now.

Southgate highlighted England’s record against Sweden (PA Graphics)

“I’m already thinking about the next game.

“I’d have liked a week to enjoy this one but haven’t got that because Sweden are a team I respect hugely.

“We’ve not got a good record against them, I think we’ve always underestimated them.

“They have good plans, they have a clear way of playing – and it’s bloody difficult to play against.

England will play Sweden at the Samara Arena at 3pm on Saturday.

Harry Leather

By Harry Leather
Digital Journalist - @hleather_star

Digital journalist covering breaking news across the region from the Express & Star's head office in Wolverhampton.

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