Watch the highlights of goals and key plays as England beats Sweden to reach the World Cup semifinals for the first time since 1990.

By Avi Creditor
July 07, 2018

It had been nearly 30 years since England reached the World Cup semifinals, but the Three Lions are on their way to the final four in Russia.

England beat Sweden 2-0 in Samara on headers from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli and timely saves by Jordan Pickford, comfortably securing their place in the semifinals, where it will play Croatia on Wednesday.

England, riding the high of winning a penalty kick shootout at the World Cup for the first time after besting Colombia in the round of 16, is in its first semifinal since 1990, while Sweden missed out on the chance to return to the final four for the first time since 1994 after a valiant run.

This match was never expected to be a track meet, and it started out slowly, with each possessing patiently and seeking a defense-splitting pass, but finding little success in breaking through the rearguard. England looked particularly sluggish, and with Gareth Southgate starting the same XI that started against Colombia, there could be some weary legs among the Three Lions.

England's first half-chance came in the seventh minute off a turnover forced by Alli. He took the ball off the suspended Mikael Lustig's replacement, Emil Krafth, and tried to lead Kane in on goal, only for goalkeeper Robin Olsen to race off his line and claim the ball.

Sweden opted for the spectacular in its first chance trying to test Pickford, with Viktor Claesson firing a 35-yard rocket after being given space in the midfield, but it ultimately sailed over Pickford's crossbar, not troubling in the least in the 13th minute.

On the other end, England broke forward on a rare counterattack in the 19th minute, as Sweden was caught with numbers forward as Raheem Sterling pushed forward. The Man City star fed Kane, who fired from long range but just missed the left post with his low blast, keeping the score 0-0.

England took the lead at the half-hour mark, and it came much in the way most of its success has come in Russia: via set piece. Maguire was first to a corner kick, powering home a header for the first international goal of his career, which made it 1-0. Of England's 10 goals at that point in the World Cup, eight had come either via free kick, corner kick or penalty kick.

England nearly doubed its lead just before halftime. Moments after being whistled offside for getting behind the defense, Sterling toed the line to run onto a ball over the top by Jordan Henderson. He had his initial chance stopped by Olsen and a second, follow-up opportunity blocked by the sliding Andreas Granqvist, which kept things at 1-0.

Sweden enjoyed a bright start to the second half, and very nearly pulled level right out of the gate. Marcus Berg steered a header on frame, only to have Pickford keep it out with a tremendous diving save to his left, preserving England's lead.

Dele Alli doubled the lead in the 58th minute off a back-post header. Jesse Lingard picked him out with a precise curling cross, and Alli got behind his defender before scoring on a close-range header to make it 2-0.

Pickford made it stand moments later, robbing Claesson of a sure goal after he latched onto Berg's back-heel and fired from 12 yards, only to have the Everton goalkeeper go down to his right to palm it off the line.

Pickford was at it again in the 71st minute. Sweden broke free on a counterattack, which resulted in Berg having a look on goal off the bounce. The striker had to reach back for the cross before volleying on frame, and Pickford was able to get a fingertip on it to tip it over the bar.

England saw out the match from there, taking one step closer to bringing football home.


Here were the lineups for both teams:


Here are the rosters for both sides:

SWEDEN

Goalkeepers: Karl-Johan Johnsson (Guingamp), Kristoffer Nordfeldt (Swansea), Robin Olsen (FC Copenhagen)

Defenders: Ludwig Augustinsson (Werder Bremen), Andreas Granqvist (Krasnodar), Filip Helander (Bologna), Pontus Jansson (Leeds), Emil Krafth (Bologna), Mikael Lustig (Celtic), Victor Lindelof (Manchester United), Martin Olsson (Swansea)

Midfielders: Viktor Claesson (Krasnodar), Jimmy Durmaz (Toulouse), Albin Ekdal (Hamburger SV), Emil Forsberg (Leipzig), Oscar Hiljemark (Genoa), Sebastian Larsson (Hull City), Marcus Rohden (FC Crotone), Gustav Svensson (Seattle Sounders)

Forwards: Marcus Berg (Al Ain), John Guidetti (Alaves), Isaac Kiese Thelin (Waasland-Beveren), Ola Toivonen (Toulouse)

Manager: Janne Andersson

ENGLAND

Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley)

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham), Danny Rose (Tottenham), Ashley Young (Manchester United), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), John Stones (Manchester City), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Phil Jones (Manchester United)

Midfielders: Eric Dier (Tottenham), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)

Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal)

Manager: Gareth Southgate

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