England expectations blast off as Three Lions roar into semis

England manager Gareth Southgate said a World Cup semi-final against hosts Russian Federation in Moscow would be "incredible", after his side saw off Sweden on Saturday (July 7) to reach the last four.

England have won just three of 13 competitive matches against Nordic nations since last reaching a World Cup semi-final in 1990, although some supporters still see Sweden as an inferior opponent.

"I'd love to win a World Cup, England would love to win a World Cup". "They are forceful and well organised".

His delivery for Maguire's goal was excellent and he provided width down England's left-hand side against a narrow and slow Swedish team.

"We have played some players who are very tender years in their careers but we believe in them".

England manager Gareth Southgate described Jordan Pickford as the prototype of a modern goalkeeper after his saves helped book a place in the World Cup semi-finals .

England captain Harry Kane failed to score for the first time in seven matches for his country, but the Tottenham striker is still the leading scorer at this World Cup on six goals.

"Of course, when you sit and think about the people who've got to this point before, people I hugely respect and admire, it's hard to put that into perspective, really".

"I know the fans here are enjoying it", Kane said. It was Maguire's first global goal, and England's 10th of the tournament.

Maguire outjumped the much smaller Emil Forsberg to nod low into the corner, as England scored for the eighth time in Russian Federation from a dead-ball situation.

The opening stages of the game passed by without incident as both teams appeared slightly overawed by the possibility of progressing further in the competition and it took a 30-yard strike from Sweden's Viktor Claesson to break the tension. "I feel like if the togetherness is still there, which it is always, we control our ability on the pitch".

For the second goal, Jesse Lingard served up the ball to an unmarked Alli, who nodded in from close range.

"Can't do better than that, [scoring in the] quarter-final of the World Cup", Maguire told BBC Sport. We have a really great bond between the 23 players and the staff.

Sweden last made it to the semifinals in 1994.

Vanessa Coleman

Comments