England has reached the World Cup semi-finals for the first time in 28 years with a 2-0 victory over Sweden in Saturday’s clash in Samara, Russia.
Harry Maguire headed Gareth Southgate’s team into the lead on the half-hour mark before Dele Alli doubled the advantage in the second half to help England to a deserved win.
England now move on to a last-four date with either Russia or Croatia, who meet in the remaining quarter-final clash later on Saturday.
The opening stages of the game passed by without incident as both teams appeared slightly overawed by the occasion and it took a 30-yard strike from Sweden’s Viktor Claesson to break the tension.
England were struggling to get into their stride and it took until the 19th minute for their first opportunity to arrive with Harry Kane dragging wide from 20 yards after good work from Raheem Sterling.
By the end of the opening quarter, England were beginning to show more ambition but the Three Lions opened the scoring from another set piece with Harry Maguire powering a header into the bottom corner from 12 yards after meeting Ashley Young’s corner.
England continued to set the tempo with the ball regularly being worked down either flank and an opportunity to double their advantage arrived just before the break.
While Sweden were pressing forward, the space was opening up for England at the other end and just before the hour mark, the lead was doubled when Alli was picked out by Tottenham Hotspur teammate Kieran Trippier before powering a header into the roof of the net from eight yards.
England were in control but Sweden almost produced an immediate response within two minutes as a terrific move ended with Claesson firing towards the bottom corner from by the penalty spot but Pickford saved to his right before Jordan Henderson blocked the rebound.
Maguire could have scored his second of the game but volleyed over at the back post but although England headed into the final quarter without conceding, Sweden remained a constant threat.
Southgate had the luxury of replacing the likes of Henderson and Sterling and England will now turn their attention to Wednesday night where they will have the opportunity to reach their second World Cup final.