England manager Gareth Southgate delivers one of World Cup's best moments with post-match embrace of Colombia

Gareth Southgate’s embrace of Colombia’s Mateus Uribe was one of the moments of the tournament. (AP Photo)

As England cast aside years of penalty kick anguish at the World Cup on Tuesday, no person on the pitch likely felt better than England manager Gareth Southgate. Why? Because he was once directly on the receiving end of those so-painful moments.

During England’s match against Germany in the semifinals of the Euro 1996, Southgate took the decisive penalty kick in a shootout and delivered a painful miss. That left the door open for Germany to take the match and the tournament a few days later. It was one of the brutal moments that defined England on the international stage for years.

You can almost see the pain of that moment leave Southgate as he celebrates England’s win over Columbia.

However, as England has well known in the past, there is always a flip side to the elation of a penalty kick win. Southgate made sure his opponents didn’t go through it without acknowledging them. As his team celebrated, Southgate comforted Colombian midfielder Mateus Uribe, echoing his own embrace with then-English manager Terry Venables 22 years ago.

Those are the kind of moments that define the spirit of international play: members of two nations finding a connection through sports.

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