England's Jordan Pickford used bottle trick to help secure World Cup win vs Colombia

  • Kobe Tong
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England vs Colombia really was a footballing moments for the ages.

OTD: England vs Colombia

Every England fan can remember where they were when the Three Lions dispelled their penalty hoodoo by winning a shootout at the FIFA World Cup for the very first time.

Although England's charge at the 2018 tournament in Russia was ultimately halted in the semi-finals, there was a real feeling that something special might happen after the round of 16 triumph.

Gareth Southgate had led his side through the group stages in second place behind Belgium, finishing on the more favourable side of the knockout tree with wins over Tunisia and Panama.

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England bury their penalty hoodoo

However, the second round presented them with the difficult task of a Colombia team that had made international headlines for their entertaining performances at the previous tournament.

As such, it perhaps wasn't surprising that England and Colombia slugged it out for 120 minutes with Yerry Mina cancelling out Harry Kane's penalty with a dramatic stoppage-time equaliser.

But unlike the bitter disappointment against West Germany in 1990, Argentina in 1998 and Portugal in 2006, England actually put their penalty demons behind them on a dramatic night in Moscow.

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Pickford's bottle trick

And on the third anniversary of such a historic night for the England men's national football team, we wanted to look back on one of the subtle tactics that was used to secure penalty glory.

We are, of course, talking about the bottle trick that Jordan Pickford and the England staff deployed to ensure that they had the optimal chance of denying Colombia from 12 yards.

Sky Sports reported at the time that Pickford was handed a drinks bottle that had vital information about the preferred penalty techniques of Colombia players written on the side of it.

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And based on Pickford's comments after England's triumph, the notes proved to be vital with the Everton man's save from Carlos Bacca ultimately setting up Eric Dier for the winning spot kick.

Pickford's tactics worked a treat

According to the Guardian, Pickford explained: “We did our research on them for starters, with Marg [the goalkeeping coach, Martyn Margetson] and the analysis staff.

“I had a fair feeling. Radamel Falcao was really the only one who didn’t go ‘his’ way. But it’s set, react and go power. I don’t care if I’m not the biggest keeper. I’ve got that power and agility to get around the goal. I’ve very good at it.”

And it's not from without the realms of possibility that England and Pickford might call upon that very same tactic at Euro 2020 because the Colombia game wasn't the last time that the tactic was used.

That's because The Sun reported that Pickford was up to his usual tricks with penalty information about Croatia during a UEFA Nations League clash at Wembley Stadium later that year.

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Jordan Pickford began his career at which club?

It goes to show that England will need bottle in more ways than one if they're called up to the penalty spot once again this summer...

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