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England beat Sweden to become World Cup semi-finalists for the first time in 28 years!

POSTED ON 09 JULY 2018

England fans are jubilant after their national team comfortably beat Sweden 2-0 in their world cup quarter final on Saturday afternoon, with goalkeeper Jordon Pickford rightfully claiming the man-of-the-match award

As has been typical in this world cup campaign, England got off to a confident and controlled start, keeping their composure, passing well and maintaining possession. And they kept this going throughout most of the match, ultimately boasting 57% of the possession, and five more shots on goal than Sweden.

Set pieces were also a big thing for England, which have proven to be dangerous weapons against their opponents in this world cup. Sweden only had one corner, yet England had six, with one of England’s two goals stemming from a beautiful corner strike from Ashley Young. Maguire, outstanding once again in this match, utilised this corner to break the deadlock on the 30 minute mark, winning a determined and solid header and flashing it past Sweden keeper Robin Olsen.

Shortly into the second half, England’s second goal came, this time from Dele Alli. Jesse Lingard’s perfectly placed cross into the box found Dele Alli, who headed England to victory.

Everton keeper Pickford made three saves for England, all being great stops but one of which was particularly magnificent, snuffing out Sweden’s hopes of recovery with a superb save from Marcus Berg. Pickford rightly claimed man-of-the-match for his solid performance.

England manager Gareth Southgate said: “We knew it was going to be such a different game from the other night, to come back having had extra-time and penalties, with the emotions of it to lift ourselves through a completely different test.

“It was always a scrappy game where we had to withstand a lot of physical pressure, but the resilience of the team and togetherness of the team was crucial.

“I can’t speak highly enough of the whole squad and whole group of staff because it is so united in there.

“The level of work has been great and their commitment to each other, you don’t get through with just 11 players. They are all top people and are the reason we are in the semi-final just as much as any other.”

England’s focus now turns to Wednesday night’s crucial semi-final duel against Croatia, who scraped past Russia in the quarters on Saturday to win 4-3 on penalties after a dramatic 2-2 draw after extra time. England are comfortable favourites to win, and Croatia’s Luka Modric has already admitted that he would prefer to be facing the old England.

England V Croatia kicks off at 7pm Wednesday night 11th July and will be shown live on BBC one and ITV, as well as pretty much every home and pub in the country!

Image source: www.asianage.com

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