Mon, Jul 09, 2018 - Page 10 News List

England beat Sweden 2-0, reaching Cup semi-finals

PRACTICE:England’s march to Moscow is being fueled by goals from set pieces. Harry Maguire’s heading in a driven corner was England’s eighth set-piece goal in the World Cup

AP, SAMARA, Russia

England’s Dele Alli scores their second goal against Sweden during their World Cup quarter-final on Saturday in Samara, Russia.

Photo: Reuters

England achieved something David Beckham’s generation never managed: It reached the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup.

Harry Maguire and Dele Alli on Saturday scored with headers in a 2-0 win over Sweden, earning England’s youthful team a match against Croatia for a place in the final on Sunday.

“We looked like we controlled the game,” England captain Harry Kane said.

The team’s march to the Russian capital is being fueled by goals from set pieces.

There was another against Sweden, with Maguire heading in a driven corner from Ashley Young in the 30th minute. It was England’s eighth set-piece goal of its 11 in Russia, and the center back’s first in international soccer.

The standard of England’s crossing has particularly stood out this tournament and Alli added the second goal by meeting a far-post cross from midfielder Jesse Lingard with a powerful header in the 59th.

“We knew set plays would be key,” Maguire said. “And also that little ball that Jesse sent in for Dele, that was great. We worked on that in practice.”

It proved to be a match too far for the Swedes, who advanced further than they ever did with Ibrahimovic — the team’s star for more than a decade — by being compact and difficult to break down. That helped them win a two-leg playoff against Italy to get to the World Cup, top a group containing Germany and then beat Switzerland in the round of 16.

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 is not used to conceding.

“Up until that corner, I felt that we had everything under control,” Sweden coach Janne Andersson said. “I felt that we had the match in our hands.”

Although Sweden rallied in the final 30 minutes, forcing two good saves from goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, England comfortably held on for its first shutout of the tournament.

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