England advance into the semi finals of the World Cup for the 3rd time in their history after a 2-0 victory against Sweden in Russia.
Both sides seemed nervy as they worked their way into the game, with a few misplaced passes from either side and neither looked like threatening. England had clearly set themselves out as the more attacking of the two sides, but Sweden’s 4-4-2 formation led them to sit as a solid block of at least 8 players outside their box, proving hard to break down.
— Twitter Moments (@TwitterMoments) July 7, 2018
England’s build up play looked slow to combat this and we often seemed frustrated but not threatened, it was only when Harry Maguire’s towering figure was on the end of an Ashley Young corner that England fans could start to relax as they went 1-0 up.
Sterling was left with a few clear-cut chances at the end of the half which he couldn’t quite convert, but besides that both teams looked reasonably quiet.
Things opened up at the beginning of the second however when Jordan Pickford, already on a confidence boost after his Colombia heroics, tipped a powerful header from Berg around the post.
As Sweden pressed for a second, they opened up defensively. This was enough for a few minutes of sustained England pressure to cut them open thanks to a Dele Alli header from a Lingard cross England went 2-0 up and looked like the team we’d been hoping to see.
Alli became the second youngest player to score in a World Cup for England- Michael Owen being the first.
— James Felton (@JimMFelton) July 7, 2018
Fabian Delph and Eric Dier were brought on mid way through the second half to shore up the game for England, Pickford was still left with a bit to do as he made 2 sensational stops to deny the Swedes, but England’s position in the semi’s looked cemented from the minute the first goal went in.
Sweden made a few changes including bringing on former Norwich City man Martin Olsson, but it was to no avail as they really failed to grow into the game.
England will now play the winner of tonight’s game of Russia vs Croatia in their semi final, it will be only the second final England have been in since their World Cup win in 1966, the other being Italia 90’.
France or Belgium await in the final on July 15th.