Search

Sterling keeps cool and refocuses on Sweden clash

PUBLISHED: 18:00 05 July 2018

England's Raheem Sterling (centre) and Colombia's Jefferson Lerma battle for the ball (pic Owen Humphreys/PA)

England's Raheem Sterling (centre) and Colombia's Jefferson Lerma battle for the ball (pic Owen Humphreys/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Raheem Sterling exemplified England’s ability to stay calm in the face of provocation against Colombia, a quality he feels was vital in carrying the Three Lions to the last eight of the World Cup.

Gareth Southgate’s side booked their place in the quarter-finals by finally conquering their penalty demons in Moscow but, in order to reach the shootout, they had to endure 120 minutes of ill-temper, gamesmanship and mind games from the South Americans.

With referee Mark Geiger proving a flimsy authority figure, Colombia turned every corner into a drama, attempted to physically block England taking set-pieces and took things up a notch when Wilmar Barrios headbutted Jordan Henderson.

Brent boy Sterling was also on the receiving end of some harsh treatment, not least when Colombia’s fitness coach Eduardo Julio Urtasun appeared to barge the England winger with his shoulder as he headed for the tunnel at half-time.

“I just remember running in and someone stepped in front of me,” he said of the incident.

“There were a couple of times when I went over for a drinks break and he kept saying something. Obviously I don’t speak Spanish so I didn’t understand but then there was half-time too. I just kind of looked back at him, but we knew their game plan and exactly what they were trying to do.

“We knew what would get thrown at us and that was kind of silly from him. We just keep going, black that out and focus on the football. They’re a physical team. They were trying to do everything they could to get into our heads but we kept cool heads and that’s the most important thing.

“It’s up to the ref to clamp down it and we can’t really get involved in it.”

Sterling suggested he would not be seeking any further action against the coach, content simply to leave Spartak Stadium with a quarter-final date against Sweden.

“We’re through and happy, we move on,” he said.

England’s calmness under pressure was again personified by captain Harry Kane.

As against Tunisia and Panama, he was bundled, wrestled and shoved at corners and refused to lash out.

When Geiger did award a penalty in the second half he rose above several minutes of squabbling, and a cynical attempt by Johan Mojica to scuff the penalty spot with his boots, to rifle home his sixth goal of the tournament.

“I didn’t see that (from Mojica), I just saw them trying to get into his ears. For H’s penalty we stuck together and we were trying to get the players away from each other,” said Sterling.

“It’s credit to him - he works on this stuff in training every single day. Repetition. He keeps a cool head and I had no doubt even in the back of my mind that he wouldn’t put it away.

“Before the tournament (Southgate) has given us everything that could be thrown at us - every single possibility from going behind to the opposition trying to get you yellow or red cards. We knew we had to keep our heads.”

Related articles

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford Sports News

11:00

Lakeside Hammers boss Will Pottinger has warned his team about the “unknown quantity” patch-up Peterborough side for their crunch play-off semi-final decider.

10:00

Bostik North: Dereham Town 1 Romford 0

Hornchurch slipped to their third successive Bostik Premier defeat and fifth loss in a row in all competitions on Saturday.

Yesterday, 20:35

Brandon Webster’s hat-trick helped Raiders to victory in their National League Division Two clash with the Mustangs at Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre on Saturday.

The Spurs manager admitted his team suffered ‘a little bit more’ than he would have liked during today’s derby with West Ham

Yesterday, 17:25

FA Cup fourth qualifying round: Boreham Wood 2 Dagenham & Redbridge 2

The Hammers huffed and puffed but couldn’t beat Hugo Lloris

Yesterday, 13:56

Former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has been discussing various topics with Layth Yousif during his exclusive interview this week. The talented 26-year-old invited Layth to his house for an in-depth discussion on a wide-ranging number of issues as the star prepares to launch his first soccer school at the end of this month. Read on for more...

PROMOTED CONTENT

Vauxhall has completed its sport utility vehicle range with the third, and largest, Grandland X. We put the SUV, now available at Tony LeVoi in Romford, to the test.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

The next step in renewable energy could be right beneath your feet as you walk through a Romford shopping centre.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

News from your area

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now