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World Cup

England Three Lions make mincemeat of Sweden

England players celebrating Harry Maguire’s opener against Sweden on Saturday

Two headed goals either side of the halftime break from Harry Maguire and Delle Ali propelled England to a 2-0 victory over Sweden and a place in their first World Cup semi finals since Italia ’90.

The brace also allowed Gareth Southgate’s young Three Lions to equal the country’s all time tournament goals record.

With eleven goals scored, they are level with Sir Alf Ramsey’s 1966 champions.

England never needed to turn on the burners to dispose of Janne Anderson’s limited Swedish side.

The Scandinavians, who conquered four-time champions Italy for a place in Russia 2018 were restricted to sporadic Marcus Berg efforts, both of which were acrobatically saved by ever improving custodian Jordan Pickford.

England begun the game tentatively, perhaps mindful of a patchy head to head record of just two victories over Sweden in their last ten encounters.

The World Cup quarterfinal only came to life when Leicester City centre back Maguire rose highest to plant Ashley Cole’s corner kick past a stranded Robin Olsen in the Scandinavians’ goal.

Youth is definitely playing a part in the Three Lions’ successful campaign.

With scant recovery time in a tournament setting, England, like fellow semi finalists France, are benefitting from fielding one of Russia 2018’s three youngest outfits.

Awaiting England in Wednesday’s semi final is the winner between the final quarterfinal between Vladislav Cherchesov’s hosts Russia and Croatia.

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