The importance of the match is clearly not lost on long-suffering English fans.
England players celebrate the penalty save by Jordan Pickford from Carlos Bacca of Colombia during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Round of 16 match between Colombia and England at Spartak Stadium on July 3, 2018 in Moscow, Russia.
Spain were regarded as the toughest possible opponent in England's half of the draw, but they were knocked out by hosts Russian Federation on Monday.
The team has previously said a swelling was found in Rodriguez's calf muscle. Coach Jose Pekerman said on Monday that he was hopeful James would play some part against England, but that was not to be.
"Colombia respects this team [England] very much because it has shown that it has great power, but we also have our little things", said Sanchez to reporters.
Colombia's defeat of Uruguay in the last World Cup in Brazil four years ago secured the Andean nation's best ever finish at the tournament as they eventually went out to the hosts in the quarter-finals.
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If Colombia has to play without Rodriguez, that would mean an extra burden on players like winger Juan Cuadrado, who plays for Juventus, and midfielder Juan Quintero of River Plate. Eric Dier converted the game-winning kick to advance. "It is the team which makes the difference".
That puts Kane in a good position to collect the Golden Boot for the tournament's top scorer, an honour the Tottenham forward just missed during the last Premier League season, when his 30 goals were second to Mohamed Salah's 32 for Liverpool.
A surprise World Cup triumph could boost tourism in towns like Palomino, with global visits to Colombia soaring over the past decade. One player who could lose his spot in the starting lineup though, is Dele Alli. "It's hard not to support him but, as players, there are no friendships on the pitch". Harry Kane physically rugby-tackled to the ground.
England boss Gareth Southgate, meanwhile, counted on the same XI that saw the Three Lions narrowly beat Tunisia in their opening match, with Raheem Sterling partnering Harry Kane up front. Southgate has been looking to other sports like basketball and American football for insights into how players can deceive the opposition during a free kick or corner.
England prevailed in penalties after a 1-1 draw, with a win that is sure to inflame British passions about a national team that has already been hailed as one of the best in decades.
The huge victory sends England to the quarters for the first time since 2006, but it did not come easy at all.