World Cup 2018: Colombia are the dirtiest team I've ever played against says England's John Stones

Colombia picked up six yellow cards as the Three Lions advanced to the quarter-finals on penalties

Jack Watson@jackwatsonsport
Friday 06 July 2018 08:44
England fans singing 'Its Coming Home'

John Stones has launched a stinging criticism of Colombia's physical and mental provocation following England's last-16 penalty shootout win.

Wilmar Barrios was lucky to only received a yellow card for an alleged headbutt on Jordan Henderson when Colombia were protesting Mark Geiger's decision to award England a penalty for Carlos Sanchez's foul on Harry Kane.

"The game was so strange," said Stones. "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."

Raheem Sterling was on the receiving end of a shoulder barge from a member of the Colombian coaching staff as the players left the field for half time, which was surprising to Stones.

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

While Colombia attracted criticism for their style of play, England were not without their faults. Harry Maguire appeared to dive in the opposition box and Jordan Henderson was booked for an aggressive altercation with Yerrry Mina.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says that the way the game was played took the shine off of England's win and singled out Maguire for his dive and the way he called for the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).

"The negative thing for me was the fact…I think there is exaggeration on theatre by the players,” he said while working as a pundit on Russia Today. “I was surprised to see central defenders like Harry Maguire, normally he is a very honest guy, diving in the attacking box asking the referee for VAR."

Stones was unimpressed with Colombia's tactics 

“Every team has lots of diving, lots of pretending, lots of putting pressure on the referee. The game loses quality…and for me that was the negative point.”

Former Sweden international Hakan Mild said that England played like "spoilt children" and Sweden are the favourites. “It couldn’t be a better draw, they think they are so good, they are not,” he said. “They are spoilt children who earn a lot of money. They don’t have the desperation needed.”

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