England’s fifth penalty taker Eric Dier has confessed that he didn’t feel as cool as he looked before converting the winning spot kick against Colombia to seal the Three Lion’s passage into the World Cup quarter finals.
The 24-year-old Tottenham Hotspur midfielder had missed a good opportunity to seal the win for his country at the end of extra time when he headed wide from a corner, and Dier admitted that the miss was playing on his mind as he stepped up to take the crucial penalty.
Speaking to ITV after the game, he said: “It was a nervous one. I’ve never really been in a situation like that before but felt I had to score after missing the header at the end so I’m just thankful I scored!”
Dier had come on as a substitute for fellow Spurs team-mate Dele Alli after 81 minutes, and he will be hoping that his performance and cool penalty may convince manager Gareth Southgate to start him in Saturday’s quarter final clash against Sweden.
Dier also took the time to praise England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who brilliantly saved Carlos Bacca’s penalty to set up Dier’s golden moment.
“Jordan (Pickford) is a fantastic goalkeeper and deserves everything.” he said. “His attitude is brilliant and he’s been brilliant in training and taken it into the game.”
Colombia’s last minute equalizer in normal time had initially appeared to have knocked England’s confidence, but Dier hailed his team-mates for being able to bounce back from it and eventually scrape through to the next round.
“To get knocked down like we did is difficult to come back from.” he said. “We knew what we had to do and we stayed calm. We never panicked. We were ready for that.”