England are 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, reports the BBC.
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.
FIFA WC: England cruise past Sweden to reach semis
Samara [Russia] : — England continued their rich vein of form in this year’s FIFA World Cup by brushing aside Sweden 2-0 to progress to their first semi-finals after 28 years at the Samara Arena here on Saturday.
Defender Harry Maguire’s superb header in the first half and midfielder Dele Alli’s swashbuckling header in the second half were too good for Sweden, as the latter failed to pose any challenge for the English side.
Fresh from their victory in the penalty shootouts against Colombia, England took no time to settle and got down to business by playing attacking football, putting intense pressure on Swedish defence, at times creating chances to score goals.
In the 30th minute, Maguire opened the ‘Three Lions’ account when he scored a beautiful header shot just outside the penalty box, beating Sweden goalkeeper Robin Olson. It was Maguire’s first international goal.
England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford proved to be a thorn for the Swedish players as he consistently made glorious and unbelievable saves to prevent them from scoring and taking the advantage away from England.
In the 56th minute, Alli scored a sensational header to put the 1966 champions in a dominating position. Sweden frantically tried to score a goal, but its efforts were repeatedly thwarted by a good English defending prowess and Pickford’s safe pair of hands.
With this, England qualified for their third World Cup semi-final, the previous being in 1966 and 1990, respectively.
It was also the Three Lions’ first win in a knockout match in a major tournament under 90 minutes when they last defeated Ecuador at their round of 16 clash in the 2006 edition.
England will face either Croatia or Russia in the semi-finals, which will be decided later in the day. (ANI)