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England into World Cup semi-finals



England is into the World Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1990 thanks to Harry Maguire and Dele Alli headers against Sweden.

Gareth Southgate’s side now face hosts Russia or Croatia on Wednesday in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium for a place in next Sunday’s final.

Maguire rose highest to thump home Ashley Young’s first-half cross, the eighth of England’s 11 goals at this World Cup to come from a set-piece.

And Alli was unmarked to turn home Jesse Lingard’s cross against a lacklustre Sweden in Samara.

England keeper Jordan Pickford pulled off three fantastic saves to keep Sweden out – first turning away a Marcus Berg header, then producing a low stop from Viktor Claesson and finally tipping Berg’s shot over the bar.

England will discover their semi-final opponents later, with Russia and Croatia kicking off at 19:00 BST.

The Three Lions are in the last four for only the third time. They went on to win their home tournament in 1966 but lost to West Germany on penalties in 1990.

But the peculiar way this World Cup has shaped up means they will now play the team ranked 20th or 70th in the world for a place in the final – against either Belgium or France

Match stats – Alli is second youngest scorer
  • The eight goals England have scored from set-pieces is the most by a team at a World Cup since Portugal in 1966 (also eight).
  • Sweden have lost three of their past four matches against England, a run which follows 12 consecutive games without defeat against them between 1979 and 2006.
  • Six of England’s last 11 goals against Sweden have been scored via headers, all from different players (Sol Campbell, Steven Gerrard, Gareth Barry, Andy Carroll, Maguire and Alli).
  • England – who scored with both shots on target on Saturday – have found the net with 10 of their past 13 shots on target at this World Cup.
  • England have now scored 11 goals in a World Cup for only the second time, also doing so in their victorious year of 1966.
  • Alli is the second youngest player to score for England at the World Cup (22 years and 87 days), behind only Michael Owen (18 years and 190 days against Romania in 1998).
  • Maguire became the first player to score their first England goal in a World Cup knockout match since Rio Ferdinand in 2002 against Denmark.
  • Pickford made three saves in this match and became the youngest England goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet in a World Cup match (24 years and 122 days).

Source: BBC Sports

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