England face Sweden in World Cup quarter-final on Saturday
By Matthew Treadwell
Last Updated: 05/07/18 10:55pm
Peter Shilton has praised England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford for his coolness under pressure in their penalty shootout against Colombia.
Pickford saved the decisive spot-kick from Carlos Bacca in Moscow on Tuesday night as Gareth Southgate’s side defeated Colombia 4-3 on penalties – after the game had finished 1-1 after extra-time – as England advanced to the quarter-finals of the competition.
They now face Sweden in Samara on Saturday and Shilton, who was in goal for England in three World Cups, believes Everton ‘keeper Pickford “played the percentages” when deciding which way to go for the penalties.
“The way he changed direction having committed himself [was impressive],” Shilton told World Cup Verdict on Sky Sports News.
“Sometimes you go early and they put it straight down the middle and you think, ‘why didn’t I wait a little longer’.
“Jordan played the percentages and went to his right, but that save at that time after they had just missed a penalty, that was the decisive one.
“Great save and very important from his point of view because he had a bit of stick after the Belgium match, which I didn’t go along with, and it was great to see him do that.”
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Shilton highlighted the fact that with so much football being screened now, goalkeepers have the benefit of detailed analysis of penalty-takers, although the outfield players are becoming increasingly aware of this and are changing their approach accordingly.
“There are a lot of games on TV and you can see how penalty takers run up,” added Shilton.
“You know who is going to take penalties, you can study their run-up.
“Penalty takers themselves know themselves they are being watched, so they are regularly going to change which side they put it.”