Monday, 23 July, 2018

England football fans celebrate in the streets after victory over Sweden

Sweden shape vs england 10,000 empty seats as England clash with Sweden for place in World Cup semi-finals
Sergio Cook | 10 July, 2018, 10:23

The pair put pride on the line with a wager on the outcome of their nations' quarter-final clash in Samara on Saturday.

England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was notably called into action early in the second half when he saved Marcus Berg's header.

Alli, who turned 22 in April, nodded home Jesse Lingard's second-half cross to help England to a 2-0 quarter-final victory in Samara on Saturday, locking down a semi-final meeting with Croatia in the process.

"I did my best to bring as many Swedes as I could", Swedish fan Mats Sjoberg said.

"Now we have a first knockout win in over 10 years, a first penalty shootout win at the World Cup, and the highest number of goals in a game".

That was England's eighth set-piece goal at this World Cup, but, while they are lethal from dead balls, apart from Kane they are not blessed with too many other sharp shooters.

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

Maguire had his first England goal and how they needed that.

England needed 30 minutes to break down typically stubborn resistance from Sweden's sound defence.

"It's a great achievement for the team, we owed it to the fans back home who believed in us", Alli said.

Luc Jones said he had been disappointed in past England players being more "into their haircuts or their pop celebrity girlfriend or their new sports auto than actually kicking the ball".

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

"Until that corner kick by Ashley Young which gave them the chance to take the lead, we were doing well and had the match under control. It will be a battle again but I trust us, I have belief in us".

The quarterfinal at Sochi on Saturday (NZT Sunday) was tied 1-1 after regulation and 2-2 after extra time, forcing both Croatia and Russian Federation to a shootout for the second consecutive game.

And it is a step that has tripped England up so many times.

"We know where we are, we're having success because everybody is working so hard", Southgate said, after joining Alf Ramsey and Bobby Robson as just the third manager to guide England to the World Cup semi-finals.

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