Carlos Sanchez

AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano

England beats Colombia in PKs (Yes, in PKs)


England denied its World Cup penalty kick demons on Tuesday as the Three Lions booked the final spot in the World Cup quarterfinals with a 4-3 defeat of Colombia after 120 minutes of 1-1 in Moscow.

Harry Kane and Yerry Mina traded goals in regulation, with Mina’s coming well into second half stoppage time.

Colombia was playing without star playmaker James Rodriguez.

COL – Radamel Falcao scores
ENG – Kane scores
COL – Juan Cuadrado scores
ENG – Marcus Rashford scores
COL – Luis Muriel scores
ENG – Jordan Henderson saved by David Ospina
COL – Manuel Uribe hits the cross bar
ENG – Kieran Trippier scores
COL – Carlos Bacca saved by Jordan Pickford
ENG – Eric Dier scores

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There were few terrific chances in the first half, with the half focused on fouls and skullduggery.

And with apologies to a Harry Maguire header, the moment of the half was an incident between Colombia’s Wilmar Barrios and England’s Jordan Henderson.

Barrios made head-first contact with Henderson’s chest and head, and Henderson made sure everyone knew it. England supporters wanted a red card, but American referee Mark Geiger only showed yellow after VAR review.

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Kane won and converted a penalty kick shortly after the break, as Carlos Sanchez had his second awful moment of the tournament.

The half devolved even more afterward, and the 70th minute saw the match with one yellow for every 10 minutes of play (five for Colombia).

And Kyle Walker nearly gave the game back to Los Cafeteros, but Juan Cuadrado knifed his effort wide of the goal.

Mateus Uribe forced Jordan Pickford into an outstanding save in the third minute of stoppage, earning Colombia a corner kick. Mina headed home and it was 1-1.

The first 15 minutes of extra time belonged to Colombia, but England saw a few chances in the second stanza. Jordan Henderson sent Danny Rose on goal, but the Spurs man dragged his 112th minute shot just wide of the far post.

VIDEO: Colombia sees red, Japan takes early lead

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The first red card of the World Cup came just moments after fans took their seats in Saransk.

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After David Ospina blocked a breakaway opportunity from Yuya Osako in the third minute of the match, Japan star and former Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa fired the rebound on goal. But his shot was blocked by the arm of Colombia midfielder Carlos Sanchez, which earned him a straight red card from referee Damir Skomina and an early trip to the locker room.

Kagawa then stepped up to the spot and calmly sent Ospina the wrong way to give Japan the shock early lead.

Colombia will play the rest of the match with ten men and no James Rodriguez, who was named to the bench for this match as he recovers from a reported calf injury.

Serie A roundup: Fiorentina edges Chievo, Roma coughs up lead, Inter held

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An early header by Aston Villa loanee Carlos Sanchez gave Fiorentina its first win of the season in their home opener, a 1-0 result over Chievo Verona.

The Villa midfielder rose high above Dario Dainello to smash home the only goal of the match. Unfortunately, there was a catch as starting goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu was forced off just before halftime with an injury. The 30-year-old Romanian international took a kick to the head and could not continue.

Roma was left highly disappointed after coughing up a 2-0 lead, finishing 2-2 on the road at Cagliari. Diego Pierotti gave the visitors the lead at Stadio Sant’Elia just six minutes in by slotting home a penalty. Just after halftime, Kevin Strootman doubled Roma’s lead with his first goal since February of 2014 by poking in Edin Dzeko‘s headed assist from point-blank range.

However, it would come undone. Marco Borriello would pull Cagliari back within one just 10 minutes after Strootman’s score by tapping in a rebound, and Marco Sau poked one in at the far post to equalize in the 87th minute, sending Roma back with just a point.

Frank de Boer’s debut at the San Siro ended in a 1-1 draw with Palermo as Mauro Icardi headed home completely unmarked in in the 72nd minute to cancel out Andrea Rispoli’s opener just after halftime.

Torino pummeled Bologna at home 5-1 behind a hat-trick from Andrea Belotti. The trio is the first hat-trick of the 22-year-old’s professional career. Josef Martinez and Daniele Baselli also found the scoresheet for Torino who earned their first points of the season.

Elsewhere, Udinese used a goal in the first five minutes and another late in stoppage time to beat 10-man Empoli 2-0. Genoa scored three goals in an 11-minute span early in the second half to top Crotone 3-1. Sassuolo grabbed all three points at home with a 2-1 defeat of Pescara. Finally, Sampdoria came back from an early deficit to top 10-man Atalanta 2-1. Fabio Quagliarella scored from the spot to level things up and Sampdoria grabbed the winner a minute before halftime behind Paraguayan Edgar Barreto.

Uruguay 1-1 Paraguay: Draw sees both sides through to Copa America quarterfinals

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The 2015 Copa America quarterfinal round will include both Paraguay and Uruguay as second- (likely) and third-place finishers in Group B, respectively, when it kicks off this Wednesday.

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Thanks to the two sides’ 1-1 draw in their final game of the group stage, Paraguay can finish no lower than second in the group (Argentina face last-place Jamaica later on Saturday and a win would secure top spot in the group), while Uruguay can finish no lower than second among the three third-place finishers during the group stage.

Jose Gimenez put Uruguay into the lead with just under half an hour on the clock, when the 20-year-old Atletico Madrid center back rose above the crowd and headed home Carlos Sanchez’s corner kick in the 29th minute.

Set pieces giveth, and set pieces taketh away — that’s what Uruguay learned less than 15 minutes later, when Lucas Barrios equalized for Paraguay through a powerful header of his own, sending Edgar Benitez’s corner kick into the back of the net.

[ MORE: Brazil to appeal Neymar’s 4-game suspension | Chile 5-0 Bolivia | Mexico 1-2 Ecuador ]

If Paraguay finish second in Group B, a quarterfinal date with the winners of Group C (perhaps Colombia or Brazil?) looms on the horizon, while Uruguay would face Chile if Argentina finish atop Group B, no matter whether they finish first or second among third-place finishers.

Sherwood: Aston Villa “controlled the game” against Manchester City


“We should have won the game,” said Tim Sherwood, following Aston Villa’s late, heartbreaking 3-2 defeat to Manchester City on Saturday. You know what? It’s hard to disagree with the first-year Villa boss, given the way the game’s final 10 minutes transpired.

[ RECAP: Stunning finish sees City hold on after Guzan’s blunder ]

Villa equalized, a second time, through Carlos Sanchez in the 85th minute, then they should have been awarded a penalty and seen a red card shown to Man City goalkeeper Joe Hart two minutes later. Instead, an incorrect offside ruling negated what would have been Villa’s chance at a winner from 12 yards out, and Fernandinho scored the actual winner on City’s next trip down the field.

Sherwood, lauding his players’ effort and what should have been, in his post-game interview (above video):

“I thought we controlled the football match, to be perfectly honest. We played very, very well and there’s a lot of positives to take out of the game, but unfortunately, no points.”

“I could see [Christian Benteke] was onside from where I was standing, and I’m not even in line [with the play.] It’s one that’s gone against us, obviously. … It’s a penalty and red card for Joe Hart, but unfortunately it’s gone against us.”

“We should have won the game, but at least a draw would have been satisfying. I’m satisfied with the performance, but I can’t be satisfied with the decisions that have gone against us there and no points.”