The opening exchanges were littered with misplaced passes and dead-end runs from England, and it was actually the Scandinavians who had the first opportunity of the game. A loose ball on the edge of the area found Albin Ekdal in acres of space, but the shoot was well over the bar. Gareth Southgate’s side were extremely nervy and looked weighed down by the building expectations back home. Their play was ponderous and lacking the edge that had been in evidence earlier in the tournament. But as soon as they did show some invention, a chance came. Raheem Sterling pounced on a mistake in the middle and burst forward into space. The Manchester City man left the ball for Harry Kane to strike, but the World Cup’s leading marksman couldn’t find the target. And it was in fact one of the defenders who finally broke the game open. A corner from Ashley Young on the left found Maguire, and the Leicester man rose highest to head in the opening goal. A goal down and with their World Cup at stake, Swedes had to find an equaliser. Sterling and Dele Alli looked the most dangerous, but a mixture of poor finishing and the offside trap meant that they went into the break with the narrowest of margins. The second 45 saw Andersson’s side fly out of the blocks and get their first effort on target within moments. A cross from the left found Berg, but his header was expertly saved by Pickford.
This was the scene in Southend High Street this afternoon following England's win against Sweden in the World Cup!— Your Southend (@YourSouthend) July 7, 2018
Video by Millie Barton. pic.twitter.com/4txrrT5EWC
But on the hour mark, Sweden would pay for that missed chance. A first time cross from Lingard from the right-hand side found Alli at the back post, and the Tottenham midfielder had the most simple of headers to double their lead. This game wasn’t over though, and almost immediately the Blågult forced Pickford into another stunning save – this time down low to his right from a close-range Berg shot. And the Everton goalkeeper completed his hat-trick of world class stops just moments later when Berg, again, found some space and saw his shot tipped over the bar.
"We're there because of a collective effort"
Gareth Southgate spoke to us after @England's victory over Sweden and aimed specific praise to some of the team's squad players. pic.twitter.com/FipAJLKi6e— ITV Football (@itvfootball) July 8, 2018
Man of the match: Harry Maguire (England) A sensational performance from England’s defensive rock. Almost two years to the day since sitting in the stands to cheer on the national team as a fan, the Leicester man was exceptional and opened his international account. What happens next? England’s first World Cup semi-final since Italia ’90 will be against Croatia in Moscow, on Wednesday
Harry Maguire and Dele Alli scored as England comfortably defeated Sweden 2-0 in Samara to reach the FIFA #WorldCup semi-finals for the first time since 1990. pic.twitter.com/adoLcqsRBo— SuperSport (@SuperSportTV) July 8, 2018
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