It wasn’t vintage. It wasn’t free flowing football, and it sure wasn’t a game for the purist, but England have won, and they are now in the Semi-finals.
Two headed goals from Maguire and Alli ensures England progress to the Semi-final of a world cup for the first time since 1990 in Italy.
England went into the game as favourite, and while the match didn’t live up much to its pre-game hype, especially by ex players like Beckham and Ibrahimovic, who both took to twitter to but on who would come tops, it provided enough things to ponder for Croatia, who will face England in the semi-final.
The match had four bright spots: the two headed goals, and two brilliant saves. For the better part, England didn’t shift to second gear. They never had to, as Sweden didn’t muster much threat.
The first goal came in the 30th minute when Maguire rose highest to nod home an Ashley Young cross, for their 8th set piece goal of the competition, by far the highest in the competition. Early in the second half, Alli also scored from a Lingard cross to take the game beyond the Swedes.
Set Piece Kings
England has always been known to be quite good from set-pieces, but at this world cup they have taken that strength to another level, and are ow what one can term specialist. Against Sweden, it was that prowess that came into fore more than anything else and that should give Croatia a little to think about.