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ESPN FC  By ESPN

England's gamesmanship vs. Colombia 'about being clever' - Kieran Trippier

Kieran Trippier has defended England's gamesmanship in their contentious win over Colombia in the round of 16 on Tuesday.

Gareth Southgate's side, who went through on penalties, were criticised outside of England for what many perceived to be Three Lions players going down too easily and over-embellishing in the face of aggressive opposition.

Colombia manager Jose Pekerman accused England's players of faking fouls while Jose Mourinho said he was surprised by the "exaggeration on theatre by the players."

When speaking to reporters on Thursday, Trippier didn't run away from those suggestions and hailed England's "game management" as "being clever."

"Sometimes it's about being clever," the Tottenham man said. "If someone touches you... and it's about game management as well.

"You see Colombia had 20-25 minutes where they were on top. Sometimes you just need to kill the game down a bit.


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"If someone makes contact with you, it is a foul, you are going to go down.

"Everyone has got their own opinion and that's a fact.

"In our eyes a foul is a foul. You see Hendo's [Jordan Henderson] one and I don't know how he got a yellow card personally for that.

"That game's gone now, I don't really want to comment."

Colombia were whistled for 23 of the game's 36 fouls and handed six of the eight yellow cards in the match. They also were called for a penalty when Carlos Sanchez was adjudged to have wrestled down Harry Kane in the box.

And midfielder Wilmar Barrios was lucky to escape with only a yellow after thrusting his head into the chest of Jordan Henderson while awaiting a free kick, with the Liverpool man dramatically going down holding his face.

Trippier's admission comes as Brazil superstar Neymar faces harsh criticism in some quarters for overselling the contact he's suffered at the World Cup.

Neymar has been the most fouled player in the tournament thus far, with defenses keen on using rough tactics to slow down and, at times, attempt to intimidate the Brazil forward.

When asked if England were a streetwise team, Trippier, admitting the Three Lions' gamesmanship, said it's nothing that hasn't been done to them before. 

"It's being clever in the moments of the game where you feel the other team is on top," he said.

"If someone touches you and you feel it's a foul, people go down. It's a foul.

"Teams have done it to us over the years, for many years. Teams have gone down so easily.

"You see Colombia. In my eyes, I went for a tackle with [Radamel] Falcao and he just dropped to the floor and I just said to him, 'Get up' -- not like that, but you know what I mean."

England will face Sweden in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

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