England form and Pickford saves the difference: Sweden coach

Mexico gosal

England form and Pickford saves the difference: Sweden coach

England advanced to their first FIFA World Cup™ semi-final since Italy 1990 with a 2-0 win over Sweden thanks to a pair of headed goals by Harry Maguire and Dele.

Hosts Russia or Croatia, who meet later on Saturday and are lower ranked than Gareth Southgate's side, are all that stands between England and a first World Cup final since they lifted the trophy in 1966.

Sweden manager Janne Andersson had warned his side England were a match for them at set-pieces, and so it proved when Maguire connected with Ashley Young's corner after a low-key first half hour.

"They're heavy, forceful, well-organised".

"In the first half I wasn't as sharp or as good on the ball as I should have been, but you have those games and thankfully the team played so well.

They are a good side, who did not give a lot of openings".

Spain hail La Liga star Luka Modric on their front page, but declare "England are back" after 28 years fighting for a return to a World Cup semi-final.

John Stones is continuing to dream of World Cup glory but knows Sweden present a formidable challenge for England in Saturday's quarter-final in Samara.

"Pickford for me is the sort of prototype of what a modern goalkeeper should be", Southgate said at a news conference.

Harry Kane failed to score for the first time in the competition, but the England captain said confidence was high after matching the country's best run at a major tournament since Euro '96.

England held the lead through the halftime whistle before Dele Alli picked up some insurance. Fans stuffed in, from wall-to-wall, cheering for their team to come out ahead.

Fans have spilled out of pubs, parks and homes, coming together to celebrate their team's victory, after more than five decades of disappointment.

Sweden set up on Saturday to make it hard, to throw their bodies at everything and try their best to keep a clean sheet.

Victor Lindelof has been one of if not the standout player for Sweden at this World Cup. "Whoever we play, we will be ready to go again".

Sweden needed a change in approach and immediately after the restart, they nearly found an equaliser when a cross was delivered for Marcus Berg at the back post, but the forward's header was superbly kept out by the left hand of Pickford.

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