It’s Coming Home

This morning, England defeated Colombia in their gritty, physical World Cup Round of 16 match to advance to the quarter-finals. And they did it by winning a goddamn penalty shootout.

Harry Kane, by and large England’s best player this World Cup, was brought down in the box in the second half by Colombia’s Carlos Sanchez. He converted from the spot, giving the Three Lions a 1-0 lead.

That scoreline held until injury time, when towering centre-back Yerry Mina nodded a corner past keeper Jordan Pickford. 1-1. That scoreline held through extra time, sending the game to penalties.

The important thing to note here is that England have, historically, been dreadful at penalty shootouts in big tournaments. Their last shootout win came against Spain in the 1996 competition.

Regardless, a miss from midfielder Jordan Henderson wasn’t enough to keep England down. Failed chances from Mateus Uribe and Carlos Bacca meant Eric Dier held the balance of the game.

The 24-year-old crushed it.

England’s first World Cup knockout round win since 2006 has inspired fans to revisit the 1996 track Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home) by The Lightning Seeds.

In the two decades since its release, the tune has been self-deprecatingly sung by generations of England supporters, who watched their nation’s so-called Golden Generation fail to turn an abundance of talent into tournament success.

But after Dier’s well-placed penno, basically every assembly of English football fans decided it was finally, finally time to bust out the tune with utmost sincerity.

England forward Jesse Lingard and his mate, defender Trent Alexander-Arnold (who wasn’t even born when the track was released!) had some banter about the fact that, yes, football is coming home.

David Baddiel, the tune’s co-writer, even spoke on football’s potential to, well, come home.

Full disclosure: the author of this article somehow drew England in the office World Cup sweep. That said, the very existence of this article – and its headline – has likely doomed England to singing Three Lions ironically once again.