England beats Sweden 2-0, qualifies for the semi-finals

Grant SmithJul 09, 2018

If [Andrea] Pirlo plays that ball we are sat here celebrating it so why not Jordan? "Controlled the game. Fantastic", Tim Banks said.

Hosts Russia or Croatia, who meet later and are lower ranked than Gareth Southgate's side, are all that stands between England and a first World Cup final since it lifted the trophy in 1966.

England's deep run also is a surprise.

They then topped their group, which included Germany, Mexico and South Korea, before beating Switzerland in the round of 16.

Swedish players applaud their fans after their loss to England.

"I know the fans here are enjoying it", Kane said.

For many English soccer fans, Saturday's game against Sweden was at the top of the "to-do list" and watching it from an English pub is exactly where you'd want to be.

England's Marcus Rashford, left, comforts Sweden's Victor Lindelof at the end of their quarterfinal match.

Centre-back Maguire connected with an Ashley Young corner to score his first global goal and reward England for their more adventurous approach in a largely cautious first half.

Fortunately, the ref's first name didn't prevent Harry Maguire from heading home England's opener after half an hour.

Dele Alli is emblazoned across the front page of the Sunday Times, while the headline "Hope and Glory" tops their back page after England's "comfortable victory" in Samara.

"We owe the fans a lot of thanks as well for the way they have supported us".

But he stuck to his guns and will now have an ever greater belief that trying to fit Dele, Sterling and Jesse Lingard into the same team can work. "We worked on that in practice".

Anyway, England resume their incredible Russian adventure on Wednesday night vs. Croatia. "And I think we have a crew of about 30". "I felt that we had the match in our hands".

There was John Stones, now a leader in defence, there was Jordan Henderson, controlling midfield and there was Raheem Sterling who may have missed a golden chance but who stretched the Swedes when all they wanted to do was stay compact and grind this out to a closer finish.

The Three Lions followed manager Southgate's advice to grab the chance of a lifetime and produced an industrious display that made a mockery of Swedish quips about entitlement in the build-up. He is likely to retain his starting place for the semifinals.

"Every player should get a Golden Ball in Sweden".

"Personally, I don't think I played as well as I should have", he said. It's all real as they earned a passage to the World Cup semifinals after a 28-year long wait.

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