Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

England 'buzzing' after booking semi-final place, says captain Kane

Sweden vs Mexico 2018 World Cup Starting XI: Sweden v England 07 July 2018
| 11 July, 2018, 08:14

The result was a solid if economical performance in the World Cup.

Harry Maguire and Dele Alli scored with headers in a 2-0 win over Sweden on Saturday, earning England's youthful team a match against either Croatia or host nation Russian Federation for a place in the final on July 15.

Kane said of the performance which carried England to that point: "I thought we were fantastic".

England's fairly muted celebrations reflected the routine nature of the victory over a hard-working Swedish side that had already gone further than expected in its first major tournament without Zlatan Ibrahimovic. "United Kingdom savers have endured a decade of near non existent returns on their cash but the feel good factor from the World Cup could help to push rates up".

Manager Janne Andersson was steeped in English football from a young age but sees a new style in Gareth Southgate's squad. Even at Wimbledon, the home of lawn tennis, updates of England's goals were spread by fans watching or listening to the match on their cellphones. I was at Palace when they weren't quite as good as they are now.

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

"We knew set plays would be key", Maguire said.

Viktor Claesson's hopeful effort from distance was the best rudimentary Sweden managed in a scrappy opening, but the Three Lions were doing little better as Alli overhit a through ball after snatching possession off over-confident Emil Krafth. It has been easy-going but we've worked hard at the same time.


All eyes will be on the stunning Samara Arena this Saturday as the Three Lions line-up in a hotly-anticipated World Cup quarter-final against fellow surprise package Sweden.

They began solidly against England in a slow and sloppy start to the game that resembled a pre-season friendly at times, only to be outdone by a goal Sweden isn't used to conceding. "I hope that, when they look at us, they know that everything is possible and that they can also go far", Dier said.

"We felt we could dominate the ball today".

Before England's second goal Sweden missed a golden opportunity to level right after the restart but Pickford, who was named man of the match, made an outstanding save, palming Marcus Berg's close-range header away.

England boss Gareth Southgate celebrates the win (Tim Goode, PA). He is likely to retain his starting place for the semifinals.

The Sweden team got in a huddle after the game and Andersson spoke to the players.

"I spoke before the tournament about the togetherness, the trust and that, but we always wanted to prove it on the pitch and show on the pitch that we can do that".

"Everyone has been able to see this since the beginning of the World Cup, and now we expect to be here until the last day".

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