Yerry Mina equalised for Colombia deep into stoppages, but England ended their penalty shoot-out hoodoo to set up a quarter-final against Sweden.
The Three Lions had celebrated going through second in the group behind Belgium, as it meant avoiding the likes of Brazil and France in this side of the draw. Los Cafeteros couldn’t even count on James Rodriguez for a spot on the bench after his injury, but Juventus winger Juan Cuadrado and ex-Pescara talent Juan Ferando Quintero started.
Harry Kane’s diving header from a Kieran Trippier cross landed on the roof of the net and England had more of the possession in the first half.
Trippier curled a free kick wide, but there was an odd moment in the build-up to it when Wilmar Barrios seemed to angle his head into Jordan Henderson’s chin as they were pushing and shoving in the defensive wall. After advice from the VAR booth, the referee opted for a yellow card.
Carlos Sanchez wrapped his hands around Kane as a set play came in and the referee awarded a penalty. After several minutes of Colombians arguing with the referee, Kane eventually took it powerfully down the centre to give England the lead.
Dele Alli and Harry Maguire nodded over the bar, but Cuadrado blasted a golden opportunity over the bar after Carlos Bacca caught Kyle Walker in possession.
The South Americans started to pour forward in the final stages, as Radamel Falcao’s header was off target, but deep into stoppages Jordan Pickford flew to fingertip a stunning long-range strike from Mateus Uribe round the far top corner. From that resulting corner, Yerry Mina scored his third goal of the tournament, another towering header to equalise and force extra time in Moscow.
The momentum was now with Colombia and Falcao turned a header wide, but substitute Danny Rose flashed an angled drive across the face of goal, inches away from the far post. Kieran Dier also put a free header over from a corner, but it went to penalties and England had never won a shoot-out at a World Cup.
They were all successful up until David Ospina performed a splendid one-handed save on Jordan Henderson at the bottom corner. However, Uribe was next up and hit the crossbar, so Trippier equalised overall.
Bacca, who Milanisti will remember wasn’t reliable from the spot, saw his effort kept out by a strong hand. Eric Dier was last up and converted to put England into the quarter-finals against Sweden and end their shoot-out hoodoo.
Colombia 1-1 England (aet, 4-3 on pens)
Kane pen 57 (E), Yerry Mina 93 (C)
Penalties: Falcao (C, goal), Kane (E, goal), Cuadrado (C, goal), Rashford (E, goal), Muriel (C, goal), Henderson (E, saved), Uribe (C, crossbar), Trippier (E, goal), Bacca (C, saved), Dier (E, goal)
Colombia: Ospina; Arias (C Zapata 115), Davinson Sanchez, Yerry Mina, Mojica; Barrios, C Sanchez (Uribe 79), Lerma (Bacca 61); Cuadrado, Quintero (Muriel 88), Falcao
England: Pickford; Walker (Rashford 113), Maguire, Stones; Trippier, Henderson, Alli (Dier 81), Lingard, Young (Rose 102); Sterling (Vardy 88), Kane
Ref: Geiger (USA)