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Sports England reaches World Cup semifinals, beats Sweden 2-0

20:41  07 july  2018
20:41  07 july  2018 Source:   msn.com

Sweden blanks Mexico 3-0, but both head to knockout round

  Sweden blanks Mexico 3-0, but both head to knockout round YEKATERINBURG, Russia - Sweden dominated Mexico 3-0 to move on to the World Cup knockout round, and thanks to South Korea, Mexico will also advance. Ludwig Augustinsson volleyed a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa from close range five minutes into the second half, and captain Andreas Granqvist converted on penalty kick to help Sweden take control Wednesday and win Group F. Despite the loss, because South Korea beat Germany 2-0, Mexico also advances as runner-up in the group. Mexico has been to the round of 16 for seven straight World Cups.Mexico's Edson Alvarez had an own goal in the 74th minute.

a man holding a football ball© Provided by thecanadianpress.com SAMARA, Russia - England achieved something David Beckham's generation never managed: It reached the semifinals of the World Cup.

Harry Maguire and Dele Alli scored with headers in a 2-0 win over Sweden on Saturday, earning England a match against either Croatia or host nation Russia for a place in the final.

England has advanced further than was widely expected. Not even the England side containing stars like Beckham, Steven Gerrard and a young Wayne Rooney ever got this far at a major tournament.

England, the 1966 World Cup champion, last reached the semifinals in 1990. In 2014, the team didn't even make it out of the group stage. But the performances of Gareth Southgate's young lineup in Russia are being celebrated wildly back home.

Belgium beats England 1-0, moves into tougher side of draw

  Belgium beats England 1-0, moves into tougher side of draw In a match neither team had to win, Belgium came out on top and took first place in its World Cup group with a 1-0 victory over England on Thursday. Adnan Januzaj scored with a curling shot in the 51st minute on a night of little tension or attacking intent.With the victory, Belgium gets what appears to be an easier match in the next round against Japan on Monday in Rostov-on-Don. England will face Colombia on Tuesday in Moscow.Both teams had advanced to the round of 16 before the match.

The surprising run is being fuelled by goals from set pieces, and there was another against Sweden when Maguire headed in a corner in the 30th minute.

Alli added the second goal by meeting a far-post cross from Jesse Lingard with a powerful header in the 59th, becoming — at 22 — the second-youngest scorer for England at a World Cup.

"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 got further at a World Cup then they ever did with Zlatan Ibrahimovic — the team's star for more than a decade — by being compact and hard 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.

England soccer manager Gareth Southgate sought insights from the NFL

  England soccer manager Gareth Southgate sought insights from the NFL England soccer manager Gareth Southgate sought insights from the NFLThe country that is home to perhaps the best club soccer league in the world in the English Premier League has consistently fallen short of expectations over the past two decades on the international stage of the World Cup. The team failed to get out of the group stage at the 2014 World Cup, which served as their greatest disappointment since failing to qualify for the tournament in 1994.

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 England's eighth set-piece goal of its 11 in Russia.

The standard of England's crossing has particularly stood out this tournament, and another brilliant delivery led to the second goal.

A chant of "On our way, on our way, to Moscow, on our way" came from England fans in one corner of the Samara Arena.

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.

STERLING'S STRUGGLES

England forward Raheem Sterling has yet to score at the World Cup from his unusual position as the support striker to Harry Kane, and his finishing let him down against Sweden.

Set clear by Jordan Henderson's long pass over the defence late in the first half, Sterling tried to get around Sweden goalkeeper Robin Olsen but was stopped. Sterling got hold of the loose ball but his shot was deflected over.

10,000 tickets unsold for England game - but too late now

  10,000 tickets unsold for England game - but too late now 10,000 tickets unsold for England game - but too late nowBut even if fans caught the quickest flight now to Samara in Russia, at just over six hours, it is too late for them to get there for the kick-off at 3pm UK time.

Sterling's movement was very good, though, causing Sweden's slow defence problems throughout.

SWEDISH TACTICS

Virtually from the kickoff, Sweden sent a long pass forward to tall striker Ola Toivonen and looked for a flick-on. It was a sign of what was to come — direct balls, long throws, pressing — but it didn't trouble England.

The Sweden team got in a huddle after the game and coach Janne Andersson spoke to the players who, like England's, had gotten further than expected.

Sweden last reached the World Cup semifinals in 1994, and ended up finishing third.

a group of men playing a game of football© Provided by thecanadianpress.com

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More AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/WorldCup

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Steve Douglas is at www.twitter.com/sdouglas80

Belgium finishes 3rd at World Cup, beats England 2-0 .
Belgium finishes 3rd at World Cup, beats England 2-0Thomas Meunier and Eden Hazard scored a goal each for the Belgians, who lost to France in the semifinals on Tuesday.

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