Dele Alli confident about England's penalty hopes at the World Cup

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Dele Alli wants to a take a spot-kick if England’s World Cup fate comes down to a penalty shootout.

The knockout phase brings with it the spectre of penalties, which Gareth Southgate‘s men have been preparing for since March.

England have lost six of their seven shootouts at major tournaments, but Alli is confident this time will be different should it come to it.

“We have been taking some penalties after training and looking into things,” he said ahead of the last-16 clash with Colombia.

“But obviously we don’t want to give too much away.

“We’re confident and we’re looking to change things.

“I took one against Southampton (at Tottenham). I think everyone wants to step up and help the team as much as we can.

“Whatever is right at the time, if I’m on the pitch, I want to take one and I’ll ask and try and take one.”

Wing-back Kieran Trippier has been the Three Lions’ set-piece star during the tournament and would surely be among the squad’s five preferred takers.

He spoke confidently about England’s prospects of succeeding where so many of their predecessors have failed, adding: “When it comes to it, whoever is selected will step up and put it in the back of the net.

“After every session we just practise. Stick to one place and put it there. You’ve just got to feel confident when you step up and try to tuck it away.”

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France hero Kylian Mbappe plays down Pele comparisons after win over Argentina

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France hero Kylian Mbappe vowed to keep his feet on the ground despite matching a 60-year-old record set by Pele during his side’s sensational 4-3 victory over Argentina in the World Cup‘s last 16.

The 19-year-old’s second half double effectively sealed his side’s progress to the quarter-finals and also made him the first teenager to score two goals in a finals match since the Brazilian great in 1958.

Mbappe said in the post-match press conference: “It’s flattering to be the second one after Pele but let’s put things into context – Pele is in another category.

“But is is good to be amongst these people and to score in knockout matches. At a World Cup you have all the top level players so it is an opportunity to show what you can do and what you’re abilities are.”

Antoine Griezmann’s early penalty put France in front before Argentina replied through a stunning Angel Di Maria strike and a fortunate deflection off Gabriel Mercado either side of the half-time break.

Benjamin Pavard equalised for France before Mbappe’s two strikes around the hour mark turned the match on its head, with Sergio Aguero’s injury time header coming too late for Argentina.

Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano wasted no time in announcing his international retirement after the  game after winning a record 147 caps for his country.

Mascherano told Argentinian TV: “This whole story is over, and from now on I am a fan of the Argentine team, and I hope these guys can win something in the future.”

Beleaguered Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli is likely to have any decision on his own future taken out of his hands, but he cut a defiant figure in the wake of his side’s defeat.

“This is very painful, especially because the players have made a huge effort,” said Sampaoli, who is widely reported to have lost influence on his key players since their abysmal 3-0 group stage loss to Croatia.

Sampaoli added: “It was a very difficult game but we have not achieved our goal here in Russia. I’m sad, I’m frustrated – I think that’s quite normal. (But) I won’t decide my future today.”

With Mascherano gone and Lionel Messi also widely believed to be considering his international future, the focus will switch back to a new star of the game in Mbappe.

France boss Didier Deschamps said: “I am very happy for Mbappe and he has a lot of room to make progress. In such an important match he has shown his talent.

“There is an excellent mentality in this group and we did everything to go further.

“I am very proud because they have been preparing for weeks and months. We couldn’t miss it and we didn’t.”

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Cristiano Ronaldo follows Lionel Messi out of the World Cup as he scores a 5 in our Portugal ratings

Matt Jones 1/07/2018
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The 2018 World Cup has seen the back of Cristiano Ronaldo.

It wasn’t to be for Cristiano Ronaldo and Co as European champions Portugal exited at the last 16 stage at the hands of Uruguay, with Ronaldo sent home from the World Cup on the same day as Lionel Messi.

Uruguay edged past Portugal 2-1 as Edinson Cavani’s brace sent the South Americans soaring into the quarter-finals.

Cavani emphatically nodded in a cross from strike partner Luis Suarez. Portugal got back on level terms early in the second half when Pepe headed in Raphael Guerreiro’s hanging cross.

They weren’t level for long though, with Cavani curling Uruguay back in front with a superb effort seven minutes later.

Portugal pushed but with Ronaldo uninspiring, Uruguay doggedly held on.

Here we rate the Portugal players:

PORTUGAL (4-4-2)

Rui Patricio – 5:

Could have done better with Cavani’s header perhaps? Got down well to stop Suarez’s free-kick. Bad positioning for the second Uruguay goal.

Ricardo Pereira – 6:

A surprise starter considering he’d not previously featured. Didn’t let himself or his side down with a committed performance.

Pepe – 6:

Just when it was looking like Uruguay’s defence were unbreachable, Pepe popped up to haul Portugal level. Error led to Cavani winner though.

Jose Fonte – 6:

Doesn’t usually fill you with confidence but was calm and committed. Suarez caused him no end of worry though.

Raphael Guerreiro – 7:

Hasn’t enjoyed the best tournament but had a solid outing and swung in a great cross for the equaliser.

Bernardo Silva – 8:

Had been way below his best in Russia but was on his game here, giving La Celeste plenty of headaches. Poked and probed all night long. A real menace. Should have scored after Muslera’s spill.

Adrien Silva – 5:

Another woeful performance from the Leicester man as he failed to leave any lasting impression on the game before being subbed off.

William Carvalho – 7:

Carvalho did what Carvalho does, goes diligently about his business. He’s a hard man to get off the ball even for Uruguay’s hard-working midfield.

Joao Mario – 7:

Had quietly his best game of the World Cup. Was strange to see him taken off with minutes remaining as Portugal searched for an equaliser.

Goncalo Guedes – 4:

Brought in after being left out against Iran. Should have been kept out as he again put in another anonymous performance.

Cristiano Ronaldo – 5:

A peripheral figure for much of the night as he stayed largely on the fringes out wide. Disappointingly struggled to impact the game meaningfully.

SUBS:

Ricardo Quresma – 6:

Brought on to see if he could recreate his heroics from Iran game, but it was too little, too late.

Andre Silva – 6:

Brought on as Portugal pressed for a goal, but had little sight of goal.

Manuel Fernandes N/A:

At least tried to spark a revival as he unleashed shots twice from long range.

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