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07th Jul 2018

Marcus Rashford ‘in tears’ as England book place in World Cup semis

This is what it means

Simon Lloyd

England are through to their first World Cup semi-final in nearly three decades

Days on from winning their first ever penalty shootout in the tournament’s history to see off Colombia in the last-16 stage, headers from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli helped them beat Sweden 2-0 in a quarter-final in Samara. They will now  take on either Croatia or Russia in the Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday for a place in the World Cup final.

Clearly this meant a lot to England’s players, as was shown by the reaction of Marcus Rashford after full-time.

The Manchester United youngster appeared as a second half substitute against Sweden. Shortly after the game finished, he was seen hunched on his knees, many assuming he was receiving treatment for an injury.

Others, however, tweeted that the 20-year-old was simply overcome with emotion at reaching the last four of a World Cup.

Minutes later, a tweet from Rashford – showing a picture of himself wiping his face with his shirt – appeared to show that it was indeed the enormity of the occasion that had prompted his emotional reaction.

England will now return to their base near St Petersburg to prepare for Wednesday’s game in Moscow, which will be their first semi-final since the penalty shoot-out defeat to West Germany in the 1990 World Cup in Italy. Should they win their next game, they’ll play their first World Cup final since 1966 a week on Sunday.

Roberto Martinez’s Belgium side, who topped England’s group, will take on France in the other semi-final. Goals from Manchester City duo Vincent Kompany and Kevin De Bruyne were enough for the Red Devils to beat Brazil 2-1, while a Raphael Varane header and a late Antoine Griezmann goal gave France victory over Uruguay in the other quarter final to be played on Friday.