World Cup: England reach the semi-finals for the first time since 1990 after comfortable win over Sweden
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It has been 28 years since England performed this well at the World Cup, with Southgate’s side having sailed through the qualifying and knockout stages to reach the semi-finals. England’s 2-0 victory over Sweden has meant the Three Lions will now move on to face Croatia on Wednesday. With the final images of England manager, Gareth Southgate, orchestrating the fans version of Atomic Kittens ‘Whole Again’, it suddenly dawned on the entire country that the Three Lions was now one of the last four teams in the competition. The entire game saw a relatively comfortable England side who dominated possession and consistently created chances, despite the match's dying moments where goalkeeper Jordan Pickford faced a few tests. England took the lead at the half-hour mark when Harry Maguire’s expertly placed header sailed past the hands of Swedish keeper, Robin Olsen. The goal was Maguire’s first at an international level, marking a significant change from watching Euro 2016 with his friends to now scoring at the quarter-finals of the World Cup. England has now scored five goals from set pieces at the World Cup, more than any other team in the competition. Southgate’s tactical brilliance in set pieces has edged the Three Lions attacking play into an incredibly dangerous threat, with future opponents surely looking to avoid these chances at all costs. Sweden did have a sniff at the goal in the first half when Marcus Berg fired in a shot from outside the box, however, Pickford made an exceptional save that saw him lift the ball over the crossbar and out of danger. As half-time drew in, the country felt comfortable. England was performing very well and even boasted a goal’s advantage, Southgate, however, would not have felt so sure.
Sliding into the Semi Finals like... pic.twitter.com/RF3XbMT9K4— Harry Maguire (@HarryMaguire93) July 7, 2018
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