By Izuchukwu Okosi
England on Saturday afternoon at the Samara Arena defeated Sweden 2-0 to reach the semifinals of the Russia 2018 World Cup for the first time since Italia ’90.
They will now face the winner between hosts, Russia, and Croatia.
Goals from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli were the difference for Gareth Southgate’s side, with Sweden failing to offer any real threat throughout the match.
The Swedes have never won a World Cup game where they have been behind at the break, drawing two and losing nine. However, 11 of Sweden’s last 14 goals at the World Cup prior to Saturday’s match have been scored in the second half – including five of six in 2018.
Both of the previous World Cup meetings between Sweden and England had finished level, with a 1-1 draw in 2002 and a 2-2 in 2006. Both were in the group stages.
The match was dedicated to anti discriminatory fight as has been observed throughout the quarterfinals stage.
England took the lead in the 30th minute from a set-piece. Ashley Young floated a corner into the middle where Maguire rose above the Sweden defence to head home his first international goal.
England doubled their lead thirteen minutes into the second half. Another sweeping cross was floated towards the far post where Alli had escaped his marker, heading home with ease.