What Doesn’t Kill Us Makes Us Stronger

Posted By on 4th July 2018

After the first few games in the group stage two thing had become apparent. The standard of football being played was excellent and, with the exception of Belgium, the BIG teams were struggling to find their form in no small part due to the so called ‘smaller’ football nations punching above their weight.

Going into the final match of the first round England were well placed with 2 wins out of 2 games played, but their opponents were Belgium. As it stood they would be through to the knockout rounds whatever the result, as indeed would Belgium, to all intents and purposes a dead rubber.

Both sides rested key players and fielded their ‘second eleven’ with Belgium coming out winners at 1-0.

And so the knockout competition began in earnest. By the time England lined up against Columbia last night, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Argentina were already on their way home and Belgium were only through by the skin of their teeth. We really were daring to dream now.

The game against Panama had been a bad tempered affair but yesterdays game against Colombia was brutal. At times the conduct of the Colombian players was a disgrace, (roughing up the penalty spot before England’s second half penalty, come on, grow up!!) but with 90 minutes played England were winning 1-0.

Then in the last minute of injury time Columbia scored the equaliser, English hearts sank. Here we go again. 30 minutes of extra time proved inconclusive and so the dreaded penalty shoot-out loomed.

England’s record at these is dreadful and we’d never won one at a World Cup before. English hearts sank even further. The tension was unbearable.

But guess what? We won!!!!

I think winning this game the ‘hard’ way will have had a huge effect on the belief and morale of this young England team, much more so than an easy victory.

What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.

We really are beginning to dream now. Sweden on Saturday? Bring it on!

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