England team surprised their fans after they had booked their place in a World Cup semi-final by defeating Sweden 2-0 in Samara on Saturday for the first time in 28 years.
This was a World Cup quarter-final, against a difficult Sweden side, who finished top of a tight competitive Group F. Stronger England sides have choked in gentler situations than this.
Harry Maguire opened up the scoring in the first half as England continued to excel on set pieces and free kicks and Maguire got his head on a beautiful ball from Ashley Young to give the Three Lions the lead just 30 minutes into the match. The victory came when Dele Alli scored for the team.
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 did have to work hard to get ahead, and it was not pretty in the first half-hour before the goal. But once they did so they were always in complete control, and started to attack with the fluency that had been promised all tournament but never quite arrived.
With the country basking in a heatwave, thousands of fans are watching the game on big screens at events up and down the country. According to BBC almost 20 million viewers streamed online to watch the match on Saturday afternoon.
Croatia now await in just England’s third-ever World Cup semi-final on Wednesday night, and the nation is in full celebration mode as the team lie just two wins away from glory.
> Shatabdi Sarker Poushi