Gareth Southgate’s most memorable matches as England manager


Gareth Southgate’s England reign will continue after he decided to remain in the job.

The 52-year-old’s six-year spell has seen the men’s national team enjoy plenty of unforgettable moments.

Here, the PA news agency picks out five of his most memorable matches.

Colombia 1 England 1 (England win 4-3 on penalties), World Cup 2018 last 16 – July 3, 2018

Expectations were low heading into Russia, where Southgate challenged his side to become the first England team to win a knockout match at a major finals since 2006.

The team recovered manfully from the gut punch of seeing Harry Kane’s spot-kick cancelled out in stoppage time by Colombia defender Yerry Mina, which took the match to extra-time and eventually penalties with the score remaining 1-1.

And, having lost six of seven shootouts in major tournament history, fans were left rubbing their eyes in disbelief as England won 4-3 on penalties.

While Jordan Henderson saw his penalty saved, Mateus Uribe’s attempt rattled the bar and goalkeeper Jordan Pickford denied Carlos Bacca as Eric Dier stepped up to secure a 4-3 win.

England 1 Croatia 2 (AET), World Cup 2018 semi-finals – July 11, 2018

Southgate’s pride was as clear as his heartache after England’s remarkable summer in Russia came to a halt agonisingly short of the World Cup final.

Having followed the penalty triumph against Colombia with a comfortable 2-0 quarter-final victory against Sweden, the country came to a standstill as the team lined up against Croatia looking to keep the dream of bringing football home alive.

Kieran Trippier’s early free-kick put England on course for their first final since 1966, but Southgate’s men were unable to replicate Sir Alf Ramsey’s heroes after Croatia staged a fightback.

Ivan Perisic levelled and Mario Mandzukic secured a 2-1 win in extra-time, propelling the country to a first World Cup final as England’s manager wondered what could have been.

Spain 2 England 3, Nations League group stage – October 15, 2018

England won bronze in the inaugural Nations League finals in Portugal in 2019, but it was the result in the group stage just months after their Luzhniki heartache that captured the imagination.

Southgate was proud of his players’ display of courage, bravery and quality as his side stunned Spain in a 3-2 victory.

Raheem Sterling ended his 1,102-day wait for an international goal in style in Seville, where he opened the scoring before netting again once Marcus Rashford had fired home.

It was a breathtaking first half that brought back memories of the 5-1 shellacking of Germany in 2001, but Spain rallied and piled on the pressure after the break as substitute Paco Alcacer pulled one back.

Sergio Ramos grabbed another in stoppage time, but England had done enough to secure a victory.

England 2 Germany 0, Euro 2020 last 16 – June 29, 2021

From the 1970 World Cup and ghost goal in 2010 to the Italia 90 and Euro 96 semi-final shootout heartbreaks, matches against Germany bring up painful memories.

But England’s players showed few signs of anxiety, nerves or baggage at Wembley last year as they heeded Southgate’s advice to write their own history as Sterling and Kane struck in a famous 2-0 last-16 win.

The din inside the national stadium belied the 40,000-or-so in attendance due to coronavirus restrictions and Southgate heaped praise on his “immense” players after they secured a historic, morale-boosting victory at the end of England’s biggest match on home soil since their Euro 96 semi-final.

England 1 Italy 1 (Italy win 3-2 on penalties), Euro 2020 final – July 11, 2021

England reached just their second major tournament final after following the win against Germany by beating Ukraine and Denmark.

But the long wait for a major trophy goes on after Southgate’s side saw their Euro 2020 dreams end in a heartbreaking penalty shootout defeat to Italy.

Luke Shaw’s early stunner at a rocking Wembley had fans dreaming that football would be coming home rather than going to Rome.

But Italy wrested control of the final and deservedly levelled through Leonardo Bonucci, with the match going to extra-time and on to spot-kicks after it ended 1-1.

Pickford denied Andrea Belotti and Jorginho, but Rashford hit the post before fellow substitutes Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were denied as Italy won the shootout 3-2.

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