Concerned England fans make the same joke about the referee against Sweden

Concerned England fans make the same joke about the referee against Sweden

Concerned England fans make the same joke about the referee against Sweden

The 76-year-old tweeted his congratulations after the Three Lions beat Sweden 2-0 in Samara thanks to a first-half header from defender and Harry Maguire and a second-half headed finish from Dele Alli.

For once it was not Harry Kane who claimed the plaudits as the tournament's top scorer was kept quiet, but England found another hero at the other end of the pitch as Jordan Pickford produced three superb saves to shut out the workmanlike Swedes.

Gareth Southgate's young guns will play either Russian Federation or Croatia in the second semi-final in Moscow on Wednesday (July 11). In 1990, Bobby Robson's team came within a penalty shootout of reaching the World Cup final, only to lose to West Germany in the semifinal in Turin.

Understandably, there will still be the snide remarks about how England have been lucky to dodge the big guns in the lower-ranked half of the draw and doubts over their ability to overcome stronger teams like France or Belgium.

England were eliminated from the 1982 World Cup, after a second group stage, without losing a game in Spain, while Diego Maradona's genius and sleight of hand did for Robson's team in the 1986 quarterfinals.

Sweden are ranked 24th - two places below England's Euro 2016 nemesis Iceland - in the Federation Internationale de Football Association world rankings, while Russia or Croatia would await if Southgate's men were to make it to the semifinals. "To get through the two games this week we needed all of that".

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"I know the fans here are enjoying it", Kane said.

England were nearly made to pay straight after the interval and would have been pegged back if Pickford had not produced a top-drawer save to keep out a Berg header. More than 24 million watched their dramatic penalties win over Colombia to reach the last eight. "We worked on that in practice".

Look, we get it England. "We played an opponent who has a clear identity and their collectiveness has been too much for us at times in the past".

Before the quarter-final clash, Beckham and Ibrahimovic agreed to a bet which stated that should Sweden win, the former England captain would take the current MLS star to IKEA and buy him any item of his choice to go in his new LA mansion.

"It can't come better than that, quarter final of the World Cup".

"We have always said we would take one game at a time and we can go on and create our own history".

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