MOSCOW: England chase their first win in a match knockout suit for 12 years on Tuesday as they face Colombia after the arena Cup draw opened up invitingly for Harry Kane´s group.
In a match complete of surprises, Gareth Southgate´s younger England team are the best former champions left in the lower half of the draw following the shock go out of Spain.
If England get beyond Jose Pekerman´s difficult South American facet in Moscow, they would play the winners of Tuesday´s different ultimate-sixteen tie among Sweden and Switzerland earlier than a potential semi-final towards Russia or Croatia.
Brazil and France lurk inside the pinnacle half of of the draw however Lionel Messi´s Argentina and Cristiano Ronaldo´s Portugal are out.
1/3-ranked Belgium averted joining them at the tournament scrapheap late on Monday, mounting one of the first-rate global Cup comebacks to beat Japan three-2 in the death seconds of injury time.
They have become the first group to return from two goals down to win a international Cup knockout fit given that West Germany fought lower back from 2-zero down towards England in 1970 to win 3-2 after greater-time.
Despite a growing experience of optimism over England´s possibilities in Russia, manager Southgate is warning his crew against thinking too a long way in advance.
England, who gained the arena Cup in 1966, have a dreadful report in fundamental tournaments, and have not received a knockout fit on the grounds that they beat Ecuador inside the 2006 international Cup.
“I assume we´ve been in this function before often over the last however a few years,” Southgate stated.
“It´s unnecessary about us even considering what may appear after tomorrow´s sport. We´re that specialize in the following day´s performance and then perhaps matters will fall into area.”
Southgate used England´s surprise defeat to tiny Iceland within the final sixteen at Euro 2016 as a caution no longer to get carried away.
England scored eight desires in their commencing two suits, beating Tunisia 2-1 with a past due Kane intention earlier than thrashing Panama 6-1. They then lost 1-0 to Belgium as Southgate made wholesale changes.
Kane, the event´s top marksman with 5 desires in suits, could be desperate to get returned at the scoresheet as he hunts the Golden Boot.
Dele Alli is fully in shape and will go back in midfield after missing the beyond two games, but Colombia megastar James Rodriguez remains a doubt.
The Bayern Munich midfielder limped off with a calf trouble at some point of the primary half of Colombia´s 1-0 win over Senegal however Pekerman said the injury changed into now not serious.
Radamel Falcao will pose another threat to England´s defence. The striker is again on pinnacle shape at Monaco after two dismal years at Manchester United and Chelsea.
Inside the other game on the very last day of the round of 16, Switzerland meet Sweden in Saint Petersburg, seeking to grow to be the first Swiss team in sixty four years to qualify for the sector Cup area-finals.
Sweden are counting on their collective spirit to carry them via after playing their part in sending defending champions Germany domestic early via topping institution F with victories over South Korea and Mexico.
Belgium installation Brazil tie
Belgium set up 1 / 4-final towards Brazil on Monday after Nacer Chadli grabbed a dramatic late winner, with the in shape poised to go into greater-time.
Goals from Jan Vertonghen and Marouane Fellaini cancelled out efforts from Genki Haraguchi and Takashi Inui and as the seconds ticked down, Belgium poured forward, with Chadli slotting domestic.
“No negatives today, it changed into about getting via,” said Belgium educate Roberto Martinez. “it is a day to be very proud of these players. Maintain believing in Belgium.”
Brazil cruised into the region-finals as dreams from Neymar and alternative Roberto Firmino gave them a 2-zero victory over Mexico.
Neymar was criticised for his early performances in Russia as he eased his way lower back to health after a damaged foot bone, however he’s edging again to his fine as the 5-time winners flow through the gears.
Brazil aren’t but at their spectacular first-rate however they have an excellent array of firepower, with Neymar supported by means of Philippe Coutinho and Willian.
And, ominously, Tite´s group have now recorded 3 easy sheets in succession after their opening 1-1 draw in opposition to Switzerland.