England roar into World Cup semis


SAMARA, Russia - England achieved something David Beckham's generation never managed: It reached the semifinals of the World Cup.

The pair put pride on the line with a wager on the outcome of their nations' quarter-final clash in Samara on Saturday.

Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford then produced a series of crucial saves in the final half-hour to seal England's long-awaited spot in the last four.

England fans in Russian Federation said they were daring to dream of glory on Saturday after the national side cruised past Sweden 2-0 and into a World Cup semi-final for the first time in 28 years.

Tottenham striker Kane has hogged the majority of the headlines in Russian Federation, rattling in six goals in only three prior matches, but on this occasion it was Maguire and the previously under-fire Dele Alli who proved the star turns with a header apiece.

"I know the fans here are enjoying it", Kane said.

But that meant almost four million people were left disappointed after iPlayer crashed with just three minutes left of the game. "We're hugely ambitious and want to do that this time, but there's nothing more in our mind than Saturday's game".

The Americans seem to be going off the boil with their World Cup fever, with England and Croatia demoted to the sidebar. It's Maguire's first worldwide goal in his 10th match for England.

It would be fair to say that Sweden were outperformed by England on the night, and it's something that Andersson agreed with as he rued "small margins" that cost his side a victory.

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

"We don't have renowned world-class players yet", Southgate said, "but lots of good young players who are showing on the world stage that they're prepared to be fearless with the ball, try to play the right way, have shown some mental resilience now".

Neither Dejan Lovren nor Domagoj Vida have pace and Sterling running in behind them could be key to England winning the semi-final while Kane has the physical ability to deal with them and the nous to drop off if he has to, as he also did against Colombia.

Ashley Young was lining up for the cornerback more than halfway through the first frame.

Pochettino's Spurs are often derided for not winning any trophies, but the Argentine manager might have created a squad that becomes the foundation upon which England builds its first World Cup success in more than 50 years.

"As an attacking player, you want to score goals so I did want one for England", he admitted.

"I thought we did well, did well".

It's been a long time between drinks for England football fans.

Thousands of seats were left empty in England's game against Sweden in the World Cup quarter final match - after they were reportedly bought in advance by confident Germany fans.