MX23RW : Thursday, February 21 08:39:21

John Stones: Colombia "dirtiest team" I have ever faced

Stones: Colombia
© Reuters
John Stones is delighted to have sent Colombia packing from the World Cup, describing England's last-16 opponents as the "dirtiest team" that he has ever faced.

England centre-back John Stones has called Colombia "the dirtiest team" that he has ever faced, making his side's World Cup last-16 victory even sweeter.

The Three Lions had to contend with the South American outfit's physical approach in Tuesday evening's clash, which ended in a penalty-shootout win following a 1-1 draw.

Colombia had six players booked across the 120 minutes for a mixture of tough tackling and mental provocation, while Raheem Sterling was also targeted by Los Cafeteros's backroom staff at half time.

Stones is delighted to have picked up the victory in Moscow, claiming that Wilmar Barrios's headbutt on Jordan Henderson was just the tip of the iceberg.

"The best thing for us was to beat them at football, that will hurt them most," he told reporters at Thursday's press conference. "They're back on the plane going home and we're in the next round.

"The game was so strange. It was the dirtiest team I've ever come up against, in the respect of when we won a penalty, surrounding the referee, pushing the referee, the headbutt you've all seen, scuffing the penalty spot and a lot of off the ball stuff I'm sure you've not heard about.

"All the sort of things you don't really hear in a football match. On our behalf it showed massive character to keep a cool head and not get dragged into their game.

"We stuck to our plan and kept playing our way of football and that's a great quality to have. It was a difficult situation but one we've overcome and can be proud of."

Next up for England is a quarter-final against Sweden in Samara on Saturday afternoon, with Russia or Croatia potentially awaiting in the final four.


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England's Raheem Sterling in action with Colombia's Yerry Mina on July 3, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

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