Colombia coach Jose Pekerman accuses England of faking fouls
Colombia manager Jose Pekerman has accused England of faking fouls in his side's feisty quarterfinal loss to the Three Lions on Tuesday.
The physical clash in Moscow saw 36 fouls, eight yellow cards -- six of which were shown to Colombia players -- and a number of flashpoints and stoppages as England advanced to their first World Cup quarterfinal since 2006.
England went ahead with a 57th-minute Harry Kane penalty after the forward was wrestled to the ground, and Pekerman said after the match England's players were constantly attempting to force decisions.
"I think that people in England or others should not think of Colombia players like this. It's a very competitive game," Pekerman said.
"England have a great weapon in the air. Players fall in the box. They collide and fall. It's hurtful. You have to try and stand in the shoes of the players. They are subject to situations which shouldn't be present in football."
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Players surrounded referee Mark Geiger for a number of minutes after Kane was adjudged to have been brought down in the box by Colombia midfielder Carlos Sanchez.
"A player fakes a foul, they are trying to get the referee to book another player," Pekerman said. "There is a lot of confusion with this type of play. All those situations are determining situations."
He added: "These interruptions are bad. It's OK, but when there are so many fouls and interruptions, that's not good. We have to find the right balance so both teams can play with the same intentions.
"We should not only look to Colombia but also England's players. I think in the next match England will be more careful. Today we were on the receiving end of this. It's been so obvious, too obvious."
Pekerman called for change in the wake of his side's defeat.
"There were many situations, as expected, and everybody knew the match would be like this and I think we have to try to defend football," the Argentine said.
"We have to do something to protect football when certain situations arise. It is uncomfortable to play this match with such refereeing decisions.
"When there are so many fouls that just cannot happen. We have to find ways to avoid that."
Yerry Mina's stoppage-time header tied the game before Colombia fell 4-3 to the Three Lions on penalties.
Star striker Radamel Falcao said his side should hold their heads high despite the disappointing result.
"The team played with great energy and intensity. We knew England uses the speed of his players very well so we carried out a plan throughout the match that went very well. We managed to tie in the 90 minutes. Later in the shootout, this is football, anything can happen so they take the victory. We are very satisfied with what has been done.
"We could have advanced too. But that's the way penalty shootouts are.
"We must continue on this path. Fighting, strengthening us as a team. Colombia will come back stronger."
Goalkeeper David Ospina gave Colombia an early advantage in the shootout when he saved Jordan Henderson's effort in the third round. However, consecutive failed attempts from Mateus Uribe and Carlos Bacca set the stage for Eric Dier to deny the South Americans a second straight trip to the last eight.
"I'm proud of this team for what it showed on the field," Ospina said. "We are sad because we are going out but we have to keep our heads high. We put every ounce of sweat that we had. We played a great World Cup.
"This was a very even contest. We deserved to tie the game and we found the goal at the end. We kept pushing during the extra time but, unfortunately, the penalty shootout didn't favor us.
"As it is said, the penalty shootout is a lottery. I was lucky to stop a shot first but then we failed two ...This is how this works. Anyway, I'm proud of this team."