Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

England into semi-final after win over Sweden

England- Cropped Getty Images
Kristopher Love | 08 July, 2018, 16:40

"It's coming home, it's coming home", will echo ever louder around England after Gareth Southgate's side secured their place in the World Cup semi-finals with a routine 2-0 win over Sweden.

The Americans seem to be going off the boil with their World Cup fever, with England and Croatia demoted to the sidebar.

Sweden manager Janne Andersson had warned his side England were a match for them at set-pieces, and so it proved when Maguire connected with Ashley Young's corner after a low-key first half hour.

The importance of the keeper's contribution was swiftly underlined with England doubling their lead in the 59th minute as Jesse Lingard's teasing cross into the box was met by Alli unmarked at the far post to head powerfully past Olsen.

"We are Sweden!" Ibrahimovic wrote in a bid to inspire his former teammates, who haven't reached the semi-final stages of the competition since 1994.

That helped them win a two-leg playoff against Italy to get to the World Cup, top a group containing Germany, and then beat Switzerland in the round of 16.

This was England's most complete performance of Russian Federation 2018 in what was a highly-credible team effort.

"We looked composed", England captain Harry Kane said after the Saturday match (NZT Sunday).

"So much preparation for this game, I thought we were fantastic, Sweden made it hard". I'd like to pay tribute to both the team and the coach.

"They were better than we were and I have the greatest respect and congratulations to England".

The Sweden goalkeeper again frustrated Sterling in the dying embers of the half by thwarting his latest attempt to round him following a fine Jordan Henderson pass.

Sterling got hold of the loose ball but his shot was deflected over.Sterling's movement was very good, though, causing Sweden's slow defense problems throughout. "And I think we have a crew of about 30".

England achieved something David Beckham's generation never managed: It reached the semifinals of the World Cup. With the match coinciding on a weekend, a time specially opted by those tying a knot on a Saturday, many British fans took to Twitter to share how they tried to strike a balance - match and a wedding.