Colombia Is England's "Biggest Game In A Decade" - Coach, Gareth Southgate - SportDab - Sport News

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Friday, 29 June 2018

Colombia Is England's "Biggest Game In A Decade" - Coach, Gareth Southgate

Coach Gareth Southgate has described England's last 16 clash against Colombia as “our biggest game for a decade.”


England lost last night to Belgium 1-0 after Southgate made 8 changes to his team which defeated Panama 6-1 earlier.


Belgium finished top of Group E with nine points and now face the easier tie against Japan - ranked 62nd in the world.


It means if England beat Colombia they will avoid a quarter-finals clash against Brazil and would instead face Sweden or Switzerland.


But Southgate was not happy following his first competitive defeat as England Boss.


"We are not happy tobe beaten but we had double objectives tonight. The knockout game is the biggest game for a decade for us so we had to make sure our key players were preserved.


“I think it was a pretty even game. I thought they had some better controlled possession than us at times.


“I think they had some good chances in the first half; we’ve had a couple of really good ones in the second. It was a good test for us and of course we had double objectives tonight with half an eye on the knockout.


“Marcus had a great chance but the good thing with him and Jamie Vardy is they kept working and kept looking for those openings. It didn’t happen for them tonight but the consolation is we don’t suffer for it.


“We want to win football matches so of course we are not happy to come away from here having been beaten but what that means for the next round we don’t really know.


“I think the players who have played tonight have given absolutely everything and never stopped and we’ve created the openings to get something from the game. Everyone can see the level we’ve been playing at.


“We can see the level of some of the best and we’ve got to just keep improving. We talked about momentum. Momentum shifts in games and I think we kept pressing right to the end. The supporters have been fantastic tonight - absolutely fantastic for us - and I think they understand what the most important thing is.


More: World Cup 2018: Fixtures, Dates, Times For All Knockout Matches


More: Spain Vs Russia: Sergio Ramos Dropped, Coach Hierro Names Penalty Takers


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