Saturday, July 7, 2018 10:40 pm
England advanced to the 2018 FIFA World Cup semi-finals on Saturday in Samara after a 2-0 win against a poor Sweden that held so much promise but never threatened.
Before a crowd of 39,991 at the Samara Arena, England were meticulous in dispatching Sweden through headed goals by Harry Maguire and Dele Alli in the 30th and 59th minutes respectively.
England were quicker to move the ball forward as the game got off to a dull start, threatening more upfront through Harry Kane and Jesse Lingard with better build-ups.
The Swedes looked too patient with their build-ups and neater passes, but Marcus Berg and Ola Toivonen seemed not creative enough to threaten the England backline.
England took the game in hand when Ashley Young’s left flank corner kick was headed home by Maguire as the Swedish defence stood still.
Their fightback was easily smothered by the English as Alli, Jordan Henderson and Lingard maintained midfield control.
England, after missing another scoring opportunity through Raheem Sterling in the 44th minute, put the game to bed in the 59th minute when Alli ran behind Sweden’s backline to head home.
They only needed to hold the game thereafter, even with Sweden bringing on John Guidetti for Toivonen, and Martin Olsson for Emil Forsberg.
Sweden only huffed and puffed, but they failed to threaten Jordan Pickford in England’s goal.
England will now meet, on Wednesday in Moscow, the winner of the Russia versus Croatia quarter-final clash later Saturday in Sochi.