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07th Jul 2018

England have reached the World Cup semi-final for the first time in 28 years

And they did it without barely breaking a sweat

Wayne Farry

It’s closer to coming home than it has been for a long, long time

England are through to the World Cup semi-final after defeating Sweden in Samara, Russia.

Gareth Southgate’s side emphatically defeated Sweden by two goals to nil on a warm day in Samara, in a show of strength and game management which has rarely been seen by England sides at this level.

The Three Lions took the lead on the half hour mark, with Harry Maguire hammering home a header past the Swedish goalkeeper.

From there, it was a case of utter domination as England completely controlled the game and exuded confidence long before the second goal came courtesy of Dele Alli.

In a well-worked move – something seen regularly throughout the match – the ball was played out to Kieran Trippier, who in turn passed it back to Jesse Lingard.

With one slight look into the box, he chipped in a beautiful looping ball to the back post, where it was met by Dele Alli’s head with aplomb.

Most encouragingly, England didn’t stop there. They threatened and threatened and were unlucky to not grab a third.

It was a performance of spirit, confidence, technical skill and nuance well beyond the years of this young side.

Crucially, it was a performance that means England are now in the World Cup semi-final for the first time since 1990.