Match No. 59 : Sweden (0) vs England (1)
Samara Arena, Samara, Russia
Not since Italia ’90 have England known scenes like these. Gareth Southgate’s side are into the semi-finals of the World Cup after dismantling Sweden 2-0. England dominated the ball in Samara and were good value for the victory, but did have goalkeeper Jordan Pickford to thank for avoiding a nervous ending. After a laboured start, England took the lead through Maguire’s header from a corner (30), his first international goal and England’s fifth from a set-piece at this World Cup, more than any other side. Alli doubled England’s lead on 58 minutes with another header, creeping in at the back post to convert Jesse Lingard’s cute delivery. England dominated the possession with 58% of the ball at their feet and had most shots(12) than Sweden(6). But it was Sweden who had more shots on target(3) than their opponents(2).
12: Claesson smashes an ambitious shot from distance over the top of Pickford’s net, firing a warning to the England defence.
19: WIDE! England hit on the break with Sterling causing problems, before Kane took the ball and dragged a shot wide of Olsen’s left-hand post.
30: GOOOOOOAL! 1-0! England take the lead! It’s another set-piece! Young floats a corner into the middle where Maguire rises above the Sweden defence to head home his first international goal.
43: Big chance for England to double their lead as Trippier lofts a pass over the Sweden defence to Sterling but he is crowded out before Lindelof clears the ball away.
58: GOOOOOAL! 2-0! England double their lead! Another sweeping cross is floated towards the far post where Alli has escaped his marker, heading home with ease. England are in dreamland!
62: WHAT A SAVE! Pickford is at it again! Sweden carve England open with a swift attacking move and gets down quickly to deny Claesson after Berg’s backheel, before Henderson makes a crucial block to deny the rebound.
65: Sweden need something different and Jan Olof Andersson makes a double change, the first of which sees Guidetti replace Toivonen.
65: The second change sees Forsberg, who has struggled to get on the ball, replaced by Olsson.
72: SAVE! Pickford looks unbeatable! Another sweeping Sweden attack sees Berg receive the ball in the middle before turning for a shot that the Everton stopper tips over the bar.
85: A straight swap for England in midfield, as Henderson makes way for Dier.
87: A very silly yellow card for Maguire for kicking the ball away after conceding a foul.
87: Guidetti also picks up a booking after clashing with Maguire.
91: Third and final change for England, as Sterling is taken off for Rashford.
94: A late yellow card for Larsson after scrapping with Kane, conceding a foul.
Marcus Berg (**): Berg had two shots on England goal, which were brilliantly saved by Pickford.
Jordan Pickford (***): Pickford was indomitable in the England net, making three fine saves in the second half to keep Sweden at bay, as England kept a clean sheet for the first time in the tournament.
Player Ratings (***- Exceeded Expectation, ** – Met Expectation, * – Didn’t meet the expectation):
Outstanding Player: Harry Maguire
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.
Sweden: Janne Andersson’s men did what was expected of them, to sit back and look for counter attacks by hitting Marcus Berg and Ola Toivonen with early balls.
England: England were constantly building up their attacks from the back and used their set-pieces brilliantly.
Viewer Rating: **
England have done it! The quarter-final hurdle has been cleared for the first time since 1990 and the Three Lions will be set for only their third ever World Cup semi-final. Goals from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli were the difference today, with Sweden failing to offer any real threat throughout the match.
Match Implication: England are just one match away from the World Cup final and will fancy their chances against either Russia or Croatia. Sweden, meanwhile, will return home but will have their heads held high after a successful campaign in Russia but they fell short today.
Until then however, thank you for joining us – and have a good day!