Sweden coach says England 'can go all the way'

10,000 empty seats as England clash with Sweden for place in World Cup semi-finals

10,000 empty seats as England clash with Sweden for place in World Cup semi-finals

Harry Maguire and Dele Alli scored with headers in a 2-0 win over Sweden on Saturday, earning England's youthful team a match against Croatia for a place in the final on July 15. The score was 1-0 at half time.

Denis Cheryshev's swerving left-footer from the edge of the box had opened the scoring for Russian Federation in the 31st minute of normal time but an unmarked Andrej Kramaric headed in a cross from Mario Mandzukic eight minutes later to restore parity.

Maguire could have scored his second of the game but volleyed over at the back post and although England headed into the final quarter without conceding, Sweden remained a constant threat.

If England do beat Sweden and reach the last four, their next match will be in Moscow on Wednesday night, which will be far more accessible.

"It was my first global goal on the biggest stage of them all", Maguire said.

England have won just three of 13 competitive matches against Nordic nations since last reaching a World Cup semi-final in 1990, although some supporters still see Sweden as an inferior opponent.

Yet the performances of Gareth Southgate's squad - the second youngest at the tournament - are being celebrated wildly back home.

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But he stressed that, despite the elimination of a host of big names from the tournament in Russia, England would be taking nothing for granted.

"We've not got a good record against them, I think we've always underestimated them", Southgate said following a dramatic victory over Colombia in the last 16. We looked composed, we controlled the game. We've got to stay focused.

Southgate credited his team's success on their willingness to come together to form a cohesive unit.

England have not varied their tactics much during this World Cup and that was again the case against Sweden who deployed their usual 4-4-2 and set the challenge of being breached.

"It's coming home" brigade has gained more mileage since England's victory over Sweden. Sterling in particular proved a bright spark with his movement and pressing, and was unfortunate not to open his account - thwarted by goalkeeper Robin Olsen.

Maguire's first England goal represented the latest milestone in a meteoric rise for the defender who was playing in the Championship for Hull City two years ago but started every game for Leicester City this past season in his second full Premier League campaign.

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