DURO’S RUSSIA NOTES

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WAGs of English Players Are Also Here

England players are still in celebration mood several hours after the Three Lions defeated Colombia 4-3 in penalty shoot out to advance to play Sweden in Saturday’s quarter final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup here in Russia.

Like it has become the tradition of the senior England team, the players are enjoying the Last 16 victory with their wives and girlfriends (WAGs).

Yesterday, the Three Lions who were given a day off to recover from the stress of the 120 minutes clash with the Colombians, were truly at home in Russia with wives, kids and family members. I don’t know if ‘Other Room’ matters were allowed please!

At the Hotel Parklane Resort and Spa which is the official FIFA hotel in St Petersburg, Liverpool Captain, Jordan Henderson, who missed England’s third penalty kick was seen enjoying the day out with his beautiful wife and two daughters in the sit out area of the highbrow facility.

THISDAY also noticed that he was not alone as he had in company Victor Moses’ manager in Europe and others.

The Nation Group Sports Editor, Ade Ojeikere, who is an ardent fan of Liverpool joined Henderson to celebrate England’s victory over the South Americans and even spent time exchanging banters with the senior of Henderson’s beautiful daughters.

Henderson’s missed penalty at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow on Tuesday nightalmost extended the jinx surrounding England and shoot out at the World Cup.

England has been in four penalty shootouts at World Cup finals. The Three Lions were in similar situations in 1990, 1998 and 2006 before surviving another one against Colombia. Gary Lineker, Peter Beardsley and David Platt scored at Italia ‘90, but Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle failed to convert their kicks against West Germany.

Eight years later at France ’98 and it was David Batty who missed the crucial kick against Argentina. And in 2006, England crashed out against Portugal as Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher fluffed their kicks.

It almost happened again here in Russia after Henderson missed his third kick but Jordan Pickford gave the Three Lions a lifeline, saving Carlos Bacca’ s kick and Eric Dier completed the job with the last kick to end the hoodoo surrounding England and spot kicks.

Back at the Parklane, Manchester United’s player, Ashley Young, was also not left out of the day out celebration for the England stars. He was seen with a retinue of family members at the lounge of the hotel with wife Nicky Pike whom he married in 2015, brothers and mom. Although they didn’t spend much time there, Young who spotted an ash coloured short and tee-shirt was obviously in happy mood with his family members in Russia.

Earlier, team captain, Harry Kane, was spotted celebrating England’s victory with family members including his brother Charlie right inside the Spartak Stadium.

Posting a photo on Instagram taken by his brother, Charlie Kane posted: ‘I think this is happening!!! COME ON ENGLAND… well done H and the team,love you all #itscominghome.’

Kane said up the breaking of the penalty jinx thus: “Obviously we’d spoken a lot about being an inexperienced and young team, but we grew up a lot on that pitch.

“There were mixed emotions, highs and lows, even in the penalty shoot-out. We were behind, and wanting Pickers to save one, and he did. It showed our mentality.

“It showed the togetherness and character. These are the moments you really see that. It’s a big night for England.

“This will give us more belief than ever, and the fans more belief than ever back home.”