England beats Sweden to achieve first World Cup semifinal since 1990


Harry Maguire’s first-half header set the Three Lions on their solution to victory, earlier than Dele Alli’s header within the second interval ended the match as a contest.

In reality, it was a cushty victory and England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was greater than a match for the three probabilities Sweden created.

England now wait to seek out out which of Croatia or host Russia shall be its semifinal opponent.

This England staff, in contrast to these of groups previous, has been very happy to undertake the underdog standing.

Gareth Southgate’s males satisfaction themselves on onerous work and togetherness, sides lacking from latest generations of England groups, and such dedication and unity has helped the staff reconnect with its public following years of disappointing shows at main tournaments.

All through this match Sweden has additionally thrived because the underdog.

Now with out the celebrated striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sweden possesses no star names however by specializing in the collective the Swedes not solely got here by a qualifying group containing France and the Netherlands however a World Cup group containing Germany, Mexico and South Korea.

A lot was made within the English tabloids of the advantages of ending second behind Belgium to barter a better path to the ultimate by avoiding Brazil within the quarterfinals and now France within the semifinals.

For a lot of England followers, Sweden was thought to be favorable opponents — however the feeling would have been mutual.

The Scandinavians have loved vital success towards England prior to now, shedding simply twice since 1979.

English historical past

However this England staff appears totally different, elevating expectation amongst followers to a stage not seen since Italia ’90, when England final reached the semifinals, finally succumbing to West Germany on penalties.

England has now scored 11 occasions on this match, equaling the English World Cup document set by the victorious aspect of 1966 en path to successful the trophy for the one time within the nation’s historical past.

Although in Sweden — a staff which had saved three clear sheets in 4 matches on this competitors — England’s free-scoring aspect got here up towards the match’s sturdiest defenses, Southgate’s gamers nonetheless managed to breach a well-organized rearguard.

After a gap the place each defenses got here out on prime — a mixture of excellent group and nervous attacking play meant neither staff was keen to commit gamers ahead in numbers — Maguire’s thundering header from an Ashley Younger nook set England on its method.

That aim was the eighth England had scored from set items at this World Cup, greater than every other aspect within the competitors.

The ultimate minute of the primary half introduced a flurry of England assaults. Twice Raheem Sterling discovered area behind Sweden’s protection however was denied first by the offside flag after which by a pointy save from Robin Olsen.

Jordan Pickford of England makes a save to keep the score at 2-0.

Firstly of the second half, maybe buoyed by supervisor Janne Andersson’s half-time staff speak, Sweden appeared like a distinct staff.

Inside 60 seconds, Pickford was already made to work tougher than he was all through the opening 45 minutes, expertly palming away Marcus Berg’s highly effective header.

However England would put the sport to mattress 30 minutes from time as Alli nodded house Jesse Lingard’s cross from shut vary.

Pickford had one other save to make quickly however England held agency to progress to solely their third World Cup semifinal.

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