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20 million watched England World Cup victory against Sweden

11 July, 2018, 02:28 | Author: John Swanson
  • 10,000 empty seats as England clash with Sweden for place in World Cup semi-finals

Either hosts Russian Federation or Croatia are all that stands between England and a first World Cup final since they won the tournament on home soil in 1966. They beat Mexico, which was strong, and then they defeated Switzerland as well. I want to pay tribute to the team and the coach.

Far more fancied England sides had failed to reach the last four in the past but Gareth Southgate's young squad powered on as they continued to make a mockery of dampened pre-tournament expectations with another impressive display in Russian Federation on Sunday (NZ time). "I believe that they are perfectly able to go all the way".

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

They'll now play Croatia, who won their quarter final by knocking out hosts Russian Federation on penalties. "We faced tough opponents in every single match but were not good enough today", said the 55-year-old.

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So, I am not anxious at all now, " he said. Once again Lindelof was a major part of that: Disrupting England and making it hard for them to play through the lines and utilise their movement and pace. We've got to stay focused.

One player who came on as a substitute against England was defender Pontus Jansson, with the Leeds United ace was thrown on with five minutes to play as a direct option in attack.

Sweden were undone at two set pieces - goals from which are becoming quite a trend for England - but the Swedish manager lavished praise on England for being "the best team". They complement each other well and although Kane was not at his best against Sweden, and although attention focussed on Sterling wasting a clear first-half chance when through on goal, they are ideal playing together to cause problems for Croatia's centre-backs.

Although Sweden started brightly, England quickly got back on the front foot, and eventually grabbed a second goal through Dele Alli.

Russian Federation v Croatia 07 July 2018
Domagoj Vida made it 2-1 for Croatia 10 minutes into the second stanza with a fine header that sailed into the bottom corner. Croatia has beaten host Russian Federation 4-3 in a penalty shootout to advance to a World Cup semifinal against England .

"We're like family really", he told a media conference on Friday.

Sweden have made 140 defensive clearances at Russian Federation 2018, more than any other team.

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

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