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07th Jul 2018

Jordan Pickford’s heroics help England to the World Cup semi-finals

A man of the match showing

Simon Lloyd

England are through to a World Cup semi-final

Days on from beating Colombia in the last-16 stage, goals from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli helped them beat Sweden 2-0 in the quarter final in Samara on Saturday afternoon.

Undoubtedly, Gareth Southgate’s side were worthy winners, though English supporters were once again quick to point to the performance of Jordan Pickford as being a key factor in their team’s progress to the last four of the tournament.

The Everton goalkeeper, a hero in the shoot-out against Colombia, made three brilliant saves in the second-half to keep Sweden out. First he turned away a Marcus Berg header, following this with a low stop from Viktor Claesson. Finally, he produced a stunning reaction save to tip Berg’s shot over the bar.

It was enough for the 24-year-old to be named man of the match, with many an Englishman quick to pay tribute to him on social media after the full-time whistle.

England’s victory over Sweden sets up a meeting with the winners of the quarter-final between Croatia and Russia next Wednesday, to be held in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium. It will be the first World Cup semi-final England have appeared in since 1990. Should they win it, they’ll be returning to the same stadium for the final the following Sunday.