Saturday 21 July 2018

World Cup player watch: Quarter-finals confirmed

The latest on what the players at the World Cup have been up to ahead of the last eight in Russia.

England players celebrate winning their penalty shootout at a World Cup against Colombia (Tim Goode/PA)
England players celebrate winning their penalty shootout at a World Cup against Colombia (Tim Goode/PA)

By Josh Luckhurst, Press Association Sport

Focus was the buzz word for the England players following a historic night in Moscow, which saw them set up a World Cup quarter-final clash with Sweden.

Gareth Southgate’s side battled back from the heartache of a stoppage-time Yerry Mina equaliser for Colombia to force extra-time, before England ended their World Cup penalty shootout hoodoo with a 4-3 victory thanks to a fantastic save from Jordan Pickford and Eric Dier’s nerveless spot-kick.

However, members of the playing staff already have their sights set on another tough battle as they take on the Scandinavian outfit on Saturday afternoon in Samara.

Others were still reeling from England’s first penalty shootout victory at a World Cup.

👶🏼💭

A post shared by Eric Dier (@ericdier15) on

Unbelievable scenes last night 👌🙌⚽️

A post shared by Gary Cahill (@garyjcahill) on

Kyle Walker had time to poke fun at himself for missing out on the on-pitch celebrations after the right-back turned centre-back had to came off in extra-time due to cramp.

Midfielder Fabian Delph missed the last-16 tie to attend the birth of his third child and the Manchester City man announced some great news on his Instagram account on Wednesday afternoon.

But there was no rest for the wicked in Repino, as Southgate was back on the training field with the players who were not involved in Tuesday’s success and forward Marcus Rashford, who did not seemed too bothered about the extra work.

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England manager Gareth Southgate during the training session at Spartak Zelenogorsk Stadium (Owen Humphreys/PA)
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Marcus Rashford, right, and manager Gareth Southgate during the training session at Spartak Zelenogorsk Stadium (Owen Humphreys/PA)
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Gary Cahill, left, and Trent Alexander-Arnold during the training session at Spartak Zelenogorsk Stadium (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Elsewhere, defender Victor Lindelof thanked Sweden fans for their “energy” during the hard-fought 1-0 win over Switzerland, while Francois Moubandje and Granit Xhaka left messages for the travelling Swiss support.

The action does not get under way until Friday afternoon but Lucas Hernandez, Philippe Coutinho and Luka Modric took to social media to show their excitement at a potential semi-final berth.

💚💛 #minhaprincesinha❤️🎀 #gratidão

A post shared by Philippe Coutinho (@phil.coutinho) on

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