Football: 'Conclusive, controlled, confident'

Colombia's coach steps down as Team Hoddle are uplifted
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The Independent Online
YOU HONESTLY have to say England were the better side. Quite simply England and Romania were better than we were, we are still learning. I'll step aside so that someone else may reap what has been sowed in the past 10 years, may fix what's wrong and reach for better things. I did all I could. It's up to others to lay out a fresh course with new ideas. Now I'm tired and sad, even sick. Being in a World Cup is supposed to be a beautiful experience, but it was terribly hard because of all the tension and passion that whirl around a national squad.

Colombia coach Hernan Dario Gomez

I NEVER really expected any other result. We're on our way but let's not get carried away. I told Michael [Owen] to go out there and play as free as a bird. He was a bit nervous in the first 15 minutes but he was lightning once he got into the game. We went out and if we'd taken half of our chances we would have won by four or five. It was a conclusive and controlled performance, perhaps the best under me. Everybody was worth eight out of ten - when you do that you normally win the game. It was a superb free-kick and I'm delighted that David [Beckham] is off the mark at international level while if there were any doubters left over Darren Anderton's place in my side he's proved them wrong. David can purvey the ball so well and Michael and Alan [Shearer] were excellent up front using their pace. We're not going to go overboard. We didn't when we lost to Romania and we won't now even though we've played extremely well.

England coach Glenn Hoddle

WE ARE totally confident, we played very well tonight, and there is no reason why we should lose to Argentina. I remember the 'Hand of God' goal very well - but I can't repeat what I said when it was scored. I was incensed by it [a tackle from behind by the Colombian Harold Lozano]. We've been talking for three months about tackling from behind, then he does it right in front of the referee and doesn't get sent off.

England midfielder Paul Ince

THAT was probably the biggest game of my life and a lot of players' lives. It was a good result, we managed to get two goals quite early on and from then on it was not too much of a struggle. We believe we can win this competition.

England striker Michael Owen

IT WAS a great feeling, just nice to score my first goal for England. I knew it was my distance. As soon I got it I just stepped up. I knew it was on target, I knew it was in. I just needed the chance to show what I could do.

England midfielder David Beckham

I KNOW they were criticised for losing to Romania, but they showed tonight they are a very good team, while we did not play so well. I have heard that [the Argentinians] Gabriel Batistuta and Ariel Ortega might also be moving to England after the World Cup so they will get quite an education on Tuesday. It is going to be a classic.

Colombia midfielder Hamilton Ricard

WE'LL take a seven-figure hammering after this, but it will be worth it to maintain long-term interest in the World Cup.

Bookmakers William Hill

ABOVE and beyond being soccer players, these guys are human beings and they tried to represent our country with dignity. Unfortunately, good results eluded the team this time around. But it's only a game in which you can lose, win or draw.

Santiago Escobar Saldarriaga, brother of Andres Escobar

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