England make it to first semi-final in 28 years

Doug Mendoza
July 9, 2018

Thousands of seats were left empty in England's game against Sweden in the World Cup quarter final match - after they were reportedly bought in advance by confident Germany fans.

The Swedish side exited the competition after two goals from English defender Harry Maguire and midfielder Dele Alli, securing England a semi-final clash with Croatia on Wednesday.

At the final whistle, Three Lions played and then, as a jubilant Gareth Southgate pumped the air in front of the England fans, there were The Beatles and All You Need is Love.

England has not advanced past the quarterfinals since finishing fourth at the 1990 World Cup.

"They're heavy, forceful, well-organised".

"It's a good football side and they don't give a lot of openings".

"I don't think anything went wrong".

"We are having success because we are really grafting for each other, we are playing some good football but we are really working without the ball".

"The margins are quite small".

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"The first 30 minutes we were under control until the corner and they scored".

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.

In the second half England goal keeper Jordan Pickford saved the day with stunning defense.

"We were sad and we're disappointed", Andersson said, "but we mustn't forget we put in an excellent performance".

Andersson had equal praise for his own players, who finished ahead of Netherlands in their qualifying group and then edged Italy in a qualification playoff to secure their spot in Russian Federation.

"That's so important for us on Saturday because I always think Sweden like to point out we're paid this and that, and we're the team of entitlement, when I don't think that is the case for this group".

Despite insisting he was fully fit, he did not seem to be moving completely freely from the start of yesterday's quarter-final, although finding his team-mates, rather than getting around the pitch, was Dele's biggest issue.

England were the better team here by some distance and deserved the victory although there was little of the drama and tension of the penalty shoot-out win over Colombia in the last 16.

Other reports by GizPress

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