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Southgate urges his England players to seize the moment against Colombia

• ‘The lads have the chance to write their own stories now’
• England chase first World Cup knockout win since 2006

Gareth Southgate has urged his players to “write their own stories” by steering England to a first knockout win at the World Cup in 12 years as his team seek to get past Colombia at Spartak Stadium and into the World Cup quarter-finals.

The national manager is acutely aware of England’s wretched record in knockout ties in the World Cup, with only Denmark and Ecuador having been beaten since Bobby Robson’s side reached the last four in 1990. Yet rather than consider that dismal record as a burden, or be tempted into looking at an apparently favourable draw that would take England deep into the tournament, the hope is that this young side will be spurred by the chance to eclipse the achievements of previous, more experienced teams.

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