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5 July, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 5 July, 2018 01:12:11 AM
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Pickford gets upper hand to vindicate Southgate

AFP
Pickford gets upper hand to vindicate  Southgate
England’s goalkeeper Jordan Pickford throws the ball during the round of 16 football match between Colombia and England at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow on Tuesday. AFP PHOTO

AFP, SAINT PETERSBURG: Mocked by Belgium’s Thibaut Courtois for being too small for a top-class goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford stood tall when England needed a penalty shootout hero to end years of pain from the spot.

On just his seventh international appearance, Pickford became the first England stopper in 20 years to save a penalty at a major tournament.

With the sides tied at 3-3 in the shootout, the Everton ‘keeper leapt to his right and got a strong left hand to Carlos Bacca’s strike, putting the Three Lions on course to win a knockout game for the first time since 2006.

It was a sweet moment for Pickford, and for his manager Gareth Southgate, whose decision to back the 24-year-old despite his inexperience and leave 75-time capped Joe Hart out of his squad was vindicated.

“I don’t care if I’m not the biggest keeper,” said the 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 metre) tall Pickford. “I’ve got that power and agility to get around the goal. I’m very good at it.”

Pickford deserved to have won the game a lot earlier on a tense night in Moscow.

As the game entered stoppage time he flew high to his left to turn Mateus Uribe’s blistering long-range effort behind.

Pickford had barely got to his feet, though, when Yerry Mina’s towering header from the resulting corner brought Colombia level with a crushing blow that more mentally fragile England sides of the past may not have recovered from.

“It was a top-class save. I’m surprised he could reach it given his height,” Southgate said with a wry smile.

“He’s really athletic around the goal, he is excellent and he executed the plan in the penalty shootout.”

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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